Mate1 Dating Safety Tips
Mate1.com strives to provide a safe and pleasant meeting environment; a place where long lasting and important relationships can be forged and maintained. Our work though can only go so far, as in the end, your own decisions and actions are your best form of security. Just like meeting people offline, online dating involves the use of sound judgement, common sense and trust.
Here are some safety tips to help you help yourself.
Take it slow, for only fools rush in
Though everyone wants to believe in an instant true love, the reality is that relationships are rarely forged this way. Trust and respect, after all, have to be earned. So even though online dating can speed up the meeting process, it is no reason to throw all your inhibitions and better judgement away. If someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. Look out for behaviour you might find bothersome or strange, and take the time to discover people's true nature. This way, you can avoid any uncomfortable or awkward situations.
When it's time to stop talking
Initially, it is a good idea to restrict all contact with other members to our Mate1 system. In fact, it is even prudent to be suspicious of people who immediately ask you to move the chat elsewhere. The reason is that by moving to foreign chat and email systems, scammers and fraudsters can avoid having their activities and actions tracked. Keeping your communication on Mate1 will allow you a measure of security while you get your feet wet. And you should immediately stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it.
Protect your contact info
People will often ask for your personal contact info, but please be wary of members who do this at the onset of communication. While you will eventually want to share this with someone you trust, never include your last name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, place of work, or any other identifying information in your Internet profile or initial e-mail messages. Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it. There is no substitute for acting with caution when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet you.
Do not be afraid to ask questions
The beauty of meeting someone online is that you never have to be uncomfortable. If you feel something is amiss, you can "walk" away and leave it at that. However, you will never know for sure unless you ask questions that move beyond typical chit chat. Finding out as much as you can is the best way to avoid surprises later on. Take it gradually and play it cool; after all, you don't want to scare people away. But don't be afraid to learn as much as you can.
Watch out for some signs of trouble
Anyone who is able to commit identity theft can also falsify a dating profile. When talking to someone you do not know, be wary of displays of anger or frustration as these may be signs of the person's character. You should also be on guard if a person refuses to answer questions, talk on the phone or if they contradict information they have already provided, either in chats or on their profile. By keeping an eye out for these signs of trouble, you may avoid a sticky situation later on.
Request a photo
A photograph will teach you a lot about a person, and can often compliment or contradict what they have told you. This is especially true in the case of people with multiple photos in different settings and situations. Here you may pick up on the person's "unsaid" qualities: their character traits, sense of humor, and family life. For these reasons, you should never feel shy about asking for pictures. In fact, if a person refuses to supply one, you would be right to think they were hiding something. With the proliferation of digital cameras, it should be easy for people to have access to a photograph.
Move the chat to the Phone
Do not get pressured into meeting
Once you have made the jump from chatting to phone conversations, you will want to meet the person you are communicating with in the flesh. While this is the natural progression for relationships that begin online, make sure to meet only when you are ready. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into meeting anyone if you are uncomfortable or unsure. We recommend breaking communication with someone if you feel they are pressuring you. Remember, you are never obligated to meet anyone.
Make plans to meet somewhere safe
Meeting anyone for the first time can be a stressful situation. To make it easier on you, we suggest finding and selecting a place where you feel comfortable and safe. This can be a neighbourhood restaurant or cafe you frequent often, or any other place that you are used to. If this is not possible, it is a good idea to choose a neutral public place, preferably where there are a lot of people. For your own safety, never agree to be picked up at your home, always provide your own transportation to and from your date, and also tell friends and family where you are going and when you will return.
In matters of love and romance, there will always be complications and risks. This is the offline reality of life, and in the online dating world, the same rules apply. You will find that while most people are honest and trustworthy, there are unfortunately always going to be those who feel the need to lie, cheat, and scam. A little prudence and care however, can go a long way. Good luck and have fun!