One of the biggest concerns about online dating is the issue of privacy. How do you put yourself out there to meet new people in a virtual world without being taken advantage of? There is no easy answer to this question; unfortunately, some people like to use the vulnerable nature that online dating creates as an opportunity for criminal activity.

online datingAt the same time, you as the online dater don’t want to miss out on meeting the partner of your dreams just because some cyber criminal decided to crash the party. That’s why it is important to trust in the safety that your online dating platform holds and look out for yourself. To better help you protect yourself against identity theft during online dating, here are a few tips to get you started.

Limit The Personal Information You Give Out

Obviously it is important to be somewhat open in a dating atmosphere, even the online variety; however, there is always certain information that you should abstain from giving out. Even in a dating environment, there is no need to divulge certain information, such as your social security number and address, among other personal data that hold essential keys to your identity.

Pick a Neutral Location

There may be the tendency when setting up a date online, to give out your address. However, meeting at a neutral location, like at a park or a cafe, is a much safer idea, both for your identity and your physical well-being. Starting your date at a neutral location is the safest way to go about online dating; this way you can get an initial feel for the person you are dating without them knowing where you live. Once you feel comfortable with someone, then you can let him or her in, and start to release more personal information about yourself.

Use an Identity Protection Service

In regards to keeping your identity safe online, perhaps the most proactive step you can take is to enlist the services of an online identity protection service, such as Lifelock. There are several key identity theft protection services available that you can pick from, so it’s worth your time to do a little research before selecting one (you can research Lifelock on Crunchbase and a number of other 3rd party sites). You never can be too careful when it comes to protecting your identity online, especially when you are putting your information out there on an online dating venue.

Be a Detective

Without prying too much and potentially ruining your chances with someone you meet online, be sure to ask certain questions to prove your match is a real person genuinely looking to date. Asking questions like “what do you do for work,” or “where did you go to school,” will allow your potential match to further elaborate on their answers without getting too person. For instance, if you ask, “where are you from originally?” and they say, “San Francisco,” then you can make a specific reference to the city and see where they go with it. If they are vague in conversation, you may want to reconsider going on a date with them. The last thing you want is to continue communication with a sketchy character trying to steal your identity.

Hopefully, these tips will prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft, while you are looking for love in the online dating world. These tips are not the only ways to protect yourself, but they are a great place to start. After all, when it comes to identity theft protection you never can be too safe, but at the same time you don’t want to keep yourself from finding that special someone.

Jack Vaughan grew up playing football and would give his left arm for Manchester United. Although he’s tough to get a hold of during the World Cup, his journalism background gives him an amazing platform for writing.