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10 Tips to Stay Safe while Dating Online

dating safetyOnline dating is a great way to meet new people and to actually fall in love.

A recent Match Singles in America Survey of over 5000 singles revealed that 53% of singles have created a dating profile. The survey also showed that 81% of singles are looking for romantic love and we want you to find it, safely.

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we love helping singles find love online. As a matter of face, I’ve been coaching singles for 23 years now, sine online dating was in its infancy. We also want YOU to feel safe while on a date, and know that dating sites take safety seriously and provide tips that you should know before you open your heart and potentially your wallet.

Here are some dating safety tips to remember before you head out to meet your digital crush.

  • Have a facetime or skype chat, or at least talk on the phone before you meet IRL. While someone may look great in a profile, until you hear the sound of their voice, you won’t know for sure if the person is a neighbor or a bot. I call this pre-dating and if you’re comfortable on the phone, chances are you’ll have a good experience on the date.
  • Find out if you have friends in common. These days it’s so easy to see if you have friends in common on Facebook or Instagram. If so, reach out to your pals to see if you can get the thumbs up or down on your potential date.
  • Watch out for suitors from out of the country or in the military. A popular romance scam is one where the person is writing to you from another country. Sure I know of people from the U.S. who fell in love with someone from Paris and they lived happily ever after, but if someone is stationed someone out of the country, they might ask you for money for a plane ride to visit you. While there’s a song, “I love a Man in a Uniform,” don’t fall prey to requests for money.
  • Be careful if someone says “I love you” too soon. Until you meet in person, you have nothing more than a digital pen pal. Those whose intentions aren’t sincere will want you to fall in love with them immediately. They may say, “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.” Before you change your relationship status, know this is a common ploy to potentially get yo to send them a wire transfer when they have a sudden emergency. After all, they love you, right?
  • Meet in a public place. Whether it’s a dog park, coffee bar, or a happy hour, NEVER meet your date at his or her house. Your first few dates should be in a public place, where there’s activity going on.
  • Don’t get into anyone’s car. If your date asks you for a nightcap elsewhere, you’re pretty much getting into a car with a stranger. Until you get to know them better, take your own car or public transportation, where you can leave if you feel the need to do so.
  • No late night dates (after 10p). This should go without saying, but it screams booty call. You have no idea what other dates he or she had that night, but 10p, means you’re dessert and it’s not a proper date. Just say no and suggest something in the daytime.
  • Don’t sext before ever meeting. The match survey showed that millennials are 48% more likely to have had sex, than other age groups before they ever met their date. I call it digital foreplay, but if you’re sexting big time with someone you haven’t met, the expectation of having sex on the first date will be very high. Go ahead and flirt on text messages and have fun, but leave your clothes on.
  • Let Google become your best friend.  Be careful of photos that look too good to be true. Do a Google search for your date’s email address, phone number, and upload their dating profile photos to Google image reverse search. If they seem sketchy, cancel your date. If things match up, go out and enjoy your date.
  • Limit the drinking on a first date. Alcohol can blur your judgment and having that second drink just might result in a late night booty call or put you in a dangerous situation. If you’re meeting for drinks, limit your alcohol intake to one drink only. If the conversation is going well and you’re not ready to end the date,  order a club soda for your second drink.

If you feel that someone’s profile is suspicious, report the profile to the online dating site, who has your safety as a top priority while looking for love online.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo

FOLLOW Online Dating Expert @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online with her Irresistible Profiles programs for over 20 years. Julie’s the recent winner of the 2017 iDate Awards for Best Dating Coach and is the author of the bestseller The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and ranks as the most influential person in social media in “dating” and “online dating.”

Lessons learned from the Manti Te’o Hoax

Manti Te'oOn Thursday, Manti Te’o will share his personal and painful story about the love hoax on Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie and all eyes will be watching.

Whether you’re a celebrity or the boy or girl next door, when matters of the heart are involved, it’s not uncommon to get lured in by a romantic pursuer on the Internet.

This most certainly doesn’t mean that all online daters are insincere, but the Notre Dame football star’s story will create more awareness about the digital courting process.

Spending time in chat rooms, Gchat, or Facebook chat provides an immediate connection with someone, who after a certain period of time, you may find yourself start to share personal information and intimate details with.

The next thing you know, you have that euphoric feeling that someone is in your digital corner. In other words, you now have a “digital pen pal,” not a real girlfriend or boyfriend. You want to share your exciting news with your friends, but if you online crush isn’t who he or she says they are, you’ll feel embarrassed and shame will kick in. You won’t want your friends to know you’ve been duped.

So before you start changing your Facebook status to ‘In a Relationship,’ look for these 7 signs that I shared with Men’s Health.

  1. Your online crush is quick to say, “I love you.”
  2. Your chats only take place late at night, when everyone else is asleep.
  3. Your new love won’t hop on a Skype call or video chat.
  4. The photos seem too good to be real.
  5. Multiple excuses prevent you from meeting in person.
  6. Your digital pen pal asks for money.
  7. Your new love is from another country.

Understand that the fantasy of the perfect person is so elevated, that you truly do believe you’ve met ‘the one.’ If this is the case, I recommend the following steps:

  1. Check their Facebook profile to see if the photos match up and if you have friends in common.
  2. Do a reverse phone number check by typing in their phone numbers in a Google search.
  3. Type in their email address in a Google search to see if they’ve created a digital footprint anywhere.
  4. Use photo recognition software such as TinEye.com where you can upload their photo and see if it appears anywhere else on the Internet.
  5. Do an in-depth background search from a site such as Intelius.

While these tips may provide information on your new digital love, not all of the data is available on the Internet. Let a close friend know you may be suspicious of your date and see if they can help solve the mystery. In many cases, as in this one, the person duping you may have a history of doing this to others as well.

Trust your intuition. Even Manti Te’o had his doubts about Lennay Kekua.

For more online dating safety tips, visit https://cyberdatingexpert.com/category/safety

For a timeline on the Mant Te’o hoax story, visit ABC News.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. Sign up for the Weekly Flirt e-newsletter for more dating advice.

Peril of the Week – Advanced Warning Issued

Peril of the Week - Warning IssueIt started out as an email sent from a man in New York who was a member of a popular online dating site. The recipient, an attractive intelligent single female shared the introductory email with some of her friends on Facebook, myself included. She wanted to know if she should go out with the man with the red flags. At first she thought it was hilarious. I told her not to go. Her curiosity got the best of her, so without further adieu, here’s an example of a date destined to go bad.

His first email appeared to be a ‘cut and paste’ to many filled with a negative attitude. It read as follows:

“This may sound rude/odd but…what’s wrong with you? I have found there has to be a catch if I come across a cute, seemingly intelligent, well manner girl on this site.”

“I have tried this online dating thing for a while and to be honest… IT SUCKS!!!

“In the last month or so, I have been: stood up three times, canceled on at the last minute, met a girl who started to make out with another random guy at the bar while I watched, found out mid-date that the girl was inky 21 when her profile said she was 29, had a girl tell me how she is still in love with her ex, been told the day after a first date that she was getting back with her fiancé, but would love to use me for sex and my favorite…told that I was part of a “30 dates with 30 guys in 30 days” dare and that I had no shot. Fun times, right?????

“Now…based on the fact that you seem pretty awesome and the fact that I am apparently not cool enough to have plans on what should be a beautiful Friday night…How would you feel about being totally spontaneous and meeting me this evening? (who knows we might even like each other and get to make out?)”

“Now, I know you may want to email back and forth for days and then build up all this excitement hoping you found “the one”…but…I have found that usually leads to disappointment and then possibly therapy and sadness, right? Let’s skip all that nonsense and meet right away…OK? It will save us the let-down in the long run.”

“Now if you call/text/email, we can have possibly the blindest of dates…(assuming you don’t stand me up) or we can flirt via text from now until we do meet and build up expectations. Your choice, but first, please warn me about what is wrong with you so I know going into this that there will be little surprise! ;-)”

With an email like this, I would have done one of two things. Either deleted it without response and forgotten about it, or send an email saying ‘No thank you. Best of luck with your search.’

Comments from her friends included, “Just be careful” to “This is hilarious. Go and report back to us.” I explained that it was a mass email sent to many other women and told her not to go. Online dating safety is a hot button for me. I had a bad feeling about this from reading just the first sentence of his email. I thought she should use her time wisely and find a man who is positive, emotionally healthy and worthy of her. I told her to do her homework, Google his email and phone number to find out more about him if she really wanted to pursue this. I had a bad feeling. I was told that I was too serious and that this was hilarious.

She did indeed go on a date with him, which was a disaster. She said she should have known that he was going to be crazy. After resfusing to tell him where she worked or lived, he left her in the bar. That would have been fine if it was over, but it wasn’t. He started to send her mean and nasty text messages. She asked him not to contact her again, and he said ‘no.’

Not only does this date qualify for The Peril of the Week, but it’s a warning message to spot the red flags and remember how to date safely. Don’t give out your home or work address, create a separate phone number on Google voice so you can change it if you continue to get harassed by a date gone badly, and trust your intuition. Listen to your friends if they are concerned about you. There are many wonderful singles looking for love online, but if you come across a situation or profile like this, report it to the Internet dating site you met on.

Do you have an online dating story to share?
Send your submissions and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

How to Scope Someone Out Online – PC World

In a recent interview with PC World, I was asked about online dating romances. Too often we have a false sense of illusion that we are in a relationship because of all of the online communications. This is where knowledge of online dating safety comes in.

?Keep in mind, you are communicating with someone you have never met before,? advises Julie Spira, author of the bestseller?The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online .

?Take your relationship from online to offline as soon as possible to see if there is any chemistry,? Spira says.

Read the article by Hillary Rhodes on PC World for more tips on finding out if your online beau or beauty is worth investing in an airline ticket for.

Article on PC World>>>