Signing up on an online dating site is the perfect moment to make a list of what you expect from a relationship. At the same time, it is essential that you are also aware of a few basic rules that will help you stay safe in the online dating world.
To make things easier, we've already set up a short list of recommendations that we hope you will follow, in order for you to be able to interact with new people without exposing yourself to any risks.
Do a little research and check the background of the people you come in contact with
Although SeniorMates takes immediate action against members who pretend to be someone else, it may happen that you run into someone who uses a profile image that belongs to and depicts a different person.
By using the "search by image" feature on Google Images, you can check whether the profile photos of a person are also being used by other people. If you run into such a situation, it is most likely that you are dealing with a fake account. Please report this to our staff without delay.
The users that sign up on online dating sites are in 99.9% of the cases real people, interested in meeting potential partners. There may also be rare occurrences when, in dishonest ways, certain users take advantage of the anonymity provided by the Internet and build themselves an identity that does not accurately reflect the reality. In order to avoid such problematic interactions, we recommend that you pay special attention to the people that do not want to reveal any kind of personal information, such as their real name, the city they live in etc..
At the same time, we strongly recommend that you do not interact with underage users who lie about their real age when signing up. SeniorMates uses an age validation system in order to prevent minors from signing up, but we still advise you to also make sure that the people you come in contact with are not underage. If you've interacted with a person who discloses to you that they are not at least 18 years of age, please report the profile in question as soon as possible.
Keep your personal information safe
This may not come as news to you, but we would like to make sure that you also hear this from us: keep your identity and personal information safe at all times! Do not disclose your surname or other personal data such as your workplace on you public profile or during your initial conversations with the other members of an online dating site.
It may sometimes happen that someone asks you to send them private photos of you. Decline all such requests coming from people you do not know, in order to protect yourself from possible unpleasant situations such as blackmail or public disclosure without your consent.
Keep your password to yourself
If you access your user account from a public computer, from your office, hotel or from a friend's computer, make sure you always log out of your account before leaving that computer.
We suggest you use a complex password, which also includes capital letters, numbers and symbols and which cannot be guessed with ease. Changing your password from time to time is also a great idea in order to keep your account safe.
Watch out for scam and malware
You've surely heard this one before: pay close attention to any link that you may receive from other users, because these links my redirect to websites that are infected with malware or that can steal your confidential data.
This issue is not specific to online dating in any way, but is a risk that we expose ourselves to each time we go online, no matter what website we're on.
Never disclose your credit card information and firmly decline any requests for money, offers for various products, "opportunities" for earning more money, pornographic video chat or donations. Please report all such users immediately.
We also recommend that you block all such users from contacting you.
Going out on a real date with someone you met online is surely exciting. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind in order to avoid unpleasant events.
Here's what you should and should not do before meeting up in real life with someone you've only been in online contact with:
Set up the meeting in a public place
Especially if it's your first date, choose a place that is public and where other people hang out, such as a café or a restaurant.
We recommend that you do not accept going over to someone's house for your first date or until you get to know them well.
If the location you decide upon is located out of the city, use your personal car, a taxi or public transportation to get there. It's not necessarily safe to get in the other person's car from the first date, if you do not know them personally well enough.
Let a friend know where you will be
Before going out on a first date with a person you met online, it's safer to let a friend or your family know exactly where you will be meeting that person and at what time. Also make sure you contact your friends after the date ends, to let them know you're safe.
Don't indulge in too much alcohol and keep a constant eye on your drink, just to make sure nobody slips in any weird substance while you're not paying attention.
Also keep your handbag and personal belongings in hand, such as your phone, wallet or personal documents.
If at any moment you feel that the date is not going well, if your partner is becoming too pushy with aspects that you are not interested in or that bother you, take the necessary precautions and end the date as soon as you feel it's right.
Just say "Stop" if you're uncomfortable
Online dating is meant to be a space where singles look for potential partners. Nobody is forced to accept an invitation if they feel it's not right for them and nobody should continue in having a particular conversation if they don't want to - if you feel that a certain interaction is not bringing you any benefit or is directly disturbing you, just end it as soon as you realize there may be a problem.
We recommend that you always let us know if you've come across users that are harassing you, that are pushing you into disclosing personal information or that you may consider as threatening.