Tuesday — May 18, 2021

The Dangers of Online Dating

by: Brittany Williams

We are living in the digital age, which allows us to connect with people all over the world without ever leaving our homes. With the Internet, we can be whoever we want to be; we can even reinvent ourselves. And, yes, the Internet can be a great tool for dating and meeting new people if used safely. With the rise of Internet dating, especially during the COVID19 pandemic, it is important to know the dangers of Internet dating and how to keep stay safe.

Did you know…

· According to a study, people who use dating apps are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse.

· The dangers of Internet dating affect/impact women almost twice as much as men. 46% of female users have reported receiving unwanted pictures or explicit messages in 2019. Men only stated the same in 26% of instances in the same period. In addition to receiving unwanted pictures, women receive threats of physical violence at a rate higher than men.

· Each year, Internet predators commit more than 16,000 abductions, 100 murders, and thousands of rapes

· The LGBTQIA+ community reports a greater number of threats and problems.

· Many people lie on their dating profiles.

· Some people on dating sites pretend to be other people (catfishing).

Here are some tips to stay safe…

· Create a Google voice number to give to potential dates. This prevents them from having your direct phone number. You can delete or change your Google voice number at any time.

· Do a video call before meeting them in person. This helps avoid being catfished.

· Google the person before meeting up with them. This allows you to verify they are who they say they are.

· Always meet in a public place. Make sure you park near the entrance of the place you're meeting at.

· Let friends or family know where, when, and who you are meeting. Send them a picture of the person if possible.

· Never give out your address, work address, or names of places you visit often.

· Do not leave drinks unattended with your date.

Above all, be smart and be safe!