Protecting your identity may seem like common sense, but when we start flirting, chatting, and enjoying ourselves a little too much, we can sometimes forget that there are predators (sexual, identity theft, etc) both online and off. Here are some key things to remember next time you start feeling a little too comfy with the person on the other end of the line – whom you’ve never actually met.
Trust Your Instincts
Your instincts are one of the best ways to tell if someone is for real or not. Your body has ways of letting you know that something isn’t right, and if you start getting that feeling, it’s best to trust your gut. You may know exactly why you’re not feeling comfortable with someone when dating online, but then again, you may not. Someone may seem on the level at first and even second glance, and everything might seem to check out. Logically, there might not be any reason for you to be suspicious. You may only have a “feeling” that something isn’t quite right, but just because you don’t know “for sure” doesn’t mean you need to ignore it. If you feel like something is up, it likely is. Trust yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be uncomfortable with someone simply because you aren’t sure why. In many instances, it’s better to follow your gut.
Guard Your Privacy
It never hurts to be extra cautious and extra safe. Until you really, really get to know this person both online and off, it’s important that you guard all aspects of your privacy. Do any and all talking through a safe source, such as an anonymous phone chatline or an anonymous online dating website. Never give out your email address, your real name, your telephone number, your address or where you work. Instead of worrying about what is safe to share and what isn’t, keep it simple and don’t share anything until you’ve really gotten to know someone and are able to trust them.
Know When To Get Out Of A Freaky Situation
If you suspect you might be talking to someone who isn’t on the level, or have even met them in person, don’t be afraid to get yourself out of a bad situation A.S.A.P. You don’t owe anyone anything and your safety and well being is your top priority when dating and chatting online and over the phone. While there are some very good liars out there, many of them will give you several clues that will let you know that something just isn’t right. For example, be on the watch for angry outbursts and manipulative language or behavior. Do not tolerate disrespectful comments or any type of derogatory behavior towards you. Watch out for inconsistent information such as birthdays, horoscope signs, age, hobbies, likes and dislikes, etc. Many people who lie will tell you one thing at one time and something completely different another time because they’ve completely forgotten what they’ve lied about in the first place. Also, another telltale sign that something is amiss is evasiveness. Someone who is honest and straightforward won’t have any problems answering reasonable questions, but someone who has something to hide will often skirt the questions or provide evasive, vague answers. If you feel that you’re in a situation that is not 100% honest, it’s time to cut all ties and move on.