Currently, I’m in a weird place relationship-wise, so I don’t think I’ll be venturing into the magical world of online dating anytime soon. That said, since the Pew Research Center reports that 15 percent of American adults use online dating sites — and most of those adults are millennials like me— I felt like it was worth my time to learn all that I could about staying safe while dating online.
I spoke with online dating expert Laurie Davis to find out more. As an award-winning dating coach and the founder and CEO of eFlirt, a beautiful website created to “help singles navigate the intersection of romance and technology to attract an ideal match,” Davis probably knows better than anyone how to protect yourself when dating online. So if you want some expert advice on how to stay safe while dating online, read on.
1. Google Yourself
It may sound ridiculous, but according to eFlirt dating coach Laurie Davis, you need to Google yourself so you can "Know what is out there about you." According to Davis, Googling yourself is Rule Number One when it comes to safely dating online, because you should know how much of your personal information is readily available to any rando with a working laptop and a strong Internet connection who knows your full name.
As Davis put it, "Once someone has your full name, what will they find? Based on what comes up, you may want to wait a date or two." She's not wrong, either. I Googled myself just now and found images and info galore. As Davis told Bustle, "one of my clients found that her town posted the sale of her house on their website, and it came up on the first page of Google. Not only would a date now know her address, but they also would know how much she paid for her home."