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Nothing in this life is risk-free. Why would online dating be different? However, that doesn’t mean that risks are greater than rewards. It’s pointless to avoid something that could bring you so much positivity just because the risk exists. Nobody remembers people who play it safe their whole lives. That might make online dating sound like a jungle full of nasty insects, but in reality, the dangers of meeting people over the Internet aren’t that scary. Read this, and you’ll learn how to be careful while looking for love or casual dates online. Remember, be careful, not afraid.

How Serious are Online Dating Dangers?

When someone mentions the dangers of dating online, people always think about the worst-case scenario—being kidnapped on the first date or leaking personal info such as credit card number or address. Nobody may join online dating platforms to look for victims, but that doesn’t happen very often, almost ever. When was the last time you heard someone had been kidnapped on a date? Never, because there are ways to prevent that (we’ll list advice and tips on that later). Leaking personal data can happen on some less serious sites, but people share their info unintentionally in chat in most cases. We’ll get to that as well.

Are There Any Dating Sites Without Scammers and Catfishers?

Instead of painting your whole mind black by thinking about worst-case scenarios, focus on the common and possible dangers of internet dating. Thinking about the worst thing that can happen is the highway to depression. A car can hit you. Will that prevent you from going out ever again? Of course not. Now when that’s clear, let’s talk about something 3 out of 10 singles experience while looking for a relationship online.

Catfishers are people who make a profile on some dating site to mess with other members. They steal photos from random attractive men or women, make up their names and life stories. That sounds ridiculous to a normal, mentally healthy person because it is. Why would anybody waste their time and money to present as someone else? The answer is obvious. They aren’t satisfied with themselves, so they think catfishing will make them feel better. Some do it because of revenge on their exes or the whole world, but one thing is usually common to all catfishers and scammers. They aren’t extremely dangerous. Yes, they waste everybody’s time, and they make people fall for singles who don’t exist, but they don’t go around killing people. In most cases, they don’t even ask “potential partners” to send money. They want to feel better about themselves.

You can find scammers on literally every dating site. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a bot and a scammer. Scammers and catfishers are real persons who can pass email verification on legit sites. That’s why it’s impossible to find a platform without them. But that doesn’t mean they manage to crawl the site forever. Support teams on good sites check reports sent by members 24/7. Because of that, even the most skilled catfishers can’t last long on legit dating sites.

Will Hackers Steal Your Personal Info?

Talking about the dangers of internet dating always leads to stealing credit card info, photos, and similar stuff. That’s good because people know that’s one of the dangers of dating online, but the next fact will blow your mind. In most cases, single men and women share their info; nobody steals it.

Being careless and naive is a much bigger danger than hackers' cyber attacks. Sites invest a lot of money into security, so it’s not a piece of cake to enter a database and steal everybody’s addresses. People who get too excited while video-chatting or texting are sawing branches they’re sitting on. Accidentally sharing an address is the biggest danger of online dating when it comes to personal info.

What Are the Risks of Online Dating?

Joining an online dating site isn’t as risky as some guys think, but being careful is a must for every person that cares about privacy and safety. Financial risks worry most of the new members because they heard stories about cyber attacks. But the greatest risks of looking for a husband, wife, or hookups on the internet are connected to mental health.

What To Expect on Dating Sites?

One out of 4 persons who are members of at least one online dating site join to boost their self-esteem. That means they aren’t looking for any relationship. They want to hear how attractive they are. It’s a petty way to raise confidence because honest members raise hopes of dating them to find out they don’t have serious intentions. That can lower the confidence level of members who joined that online dating site actually to meet potential partners.

Confidence can crumble like a week-old bread when users don’t taste the rewards of online dating as soon as they join. Not enough messages coming their way, not enough likes or profile views. That makes male and female users question their worth which is completely normal. But some people let it drag them to the abyss. Not taking any of that personally is the key to preserving mental health while dating online. There are millions of members on legit sites; being ignored by some isn’t a big deal.

Are Cyber Relationships Risk-Free When it Comes to Mental Health?

Cyber relationships are gaining popularity lately because they let singles become couples without ever meeting in person. Doing that makes no sense to people who live in big cities where it’s easy to meet partners. Some less populated areas aren’t full of people looking for love or sexual satisfaction. That sometimes leaves cyber relationships as the only solution to find happiness. Some online daters do it because of loneliness; some do it because it’s convenient. There is nothing wrong with that; it’s like a long-distance relationship with a lot of fun happening on the webcam.

However, cyber relationships can cause troubles to couples. Hanging out online is amazing, but it’s not the same as hanging out in person. Doing sexual things online is exciting, but it’s not as rewarding as having sex in real life. That can cause minor and serious mental problems. Let’s see some of them:

  • after a while, loneliness returns because couples feel their relationship doesn’t have a future

  • people start wondering if their partner is doing the same with somebody else (happens to guys and ladies), which causes anxiety and trust issues

  • sometimes people involved in cyber relationships feel like they will never find love outside of the Internet which can lead to depression and dropping of confidence

  • cyber relationship sometimes end by “ghosting,” which has terrible consequences on mental health if the other side thought the relationship was serious

Online Dating Safety Rules - DOs and DON’Ts

To enjoy the advantages of online dating without risking your safety, follow the tips we’ll list below.

What NOT to Do to Stay Safe On Online Dating Sites

Not doing some things is very important, these are big NO-NOs when it comes to online dating:

  1. Don’t reveal your full name on dating sites for casual relationships.

  2. Don’t ever share your address!

  3. Don’t reveal your credit card number or social security number to anybody, even if they say they work for the site and it’s a routine check-up. None of the dating sites will ever ask you to share that info.

  4. Don’t steal photos from the Internet and upload them as your own. Not only that’s illegal, but it can also cause a lot of pain to other members who fall for that person in the photo.

  5. When sending spicy photos (everybody does that) don’t send photos where your face is visible. Make sure everything in the room is generic as well; you don’t want to take a naked photo in front of your family portrait or next to the window that shows your street.

What to Do to Stay Safe On Online Dating Sites

Those were 5 DON’Ts of online dating; now it’s the time for 3 DOs for everybody who wants to stay safe while looking for sexual satisfaction or love online:

  1. Choose only the best online dating sites. Go for well-established sites with a lot of members. Joining 100% free sites isn’t a good idea because they have lower safety standards.

  2. Block and report suspicious members.

  3. If you get a feeling somebody might be a scammer, look them up on social media. Everyone who has a dating profile has social media as well. If your newly found match doesn’t, she/he is most likely fake.