How to stay safe when online datingOver recent weeks we have seen reports of the increase in crimes involving those who met via online apps, such as Grindr and Tinder.
The Online Dating Association, the UK trade body for the digital dating industry, works to ensure high standards in online dating in the UK.
Dating services are a part of everyday life for people. People use services to find fun, friendship, love and these services now account for almost a third of all new relationships in the UK.
But even one incident of harm to a user on a service is one too many. The ODA works with its members to ensure that users have a good experience but also know how to stay safe. We give users the advice, guidance and signposting so they can have a safe as well as a positive experience. We have been working closely with the NCA, NFIB, national police forces and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, exploring ways of preventing harm on dating services. We strongly encourage any user who has a concern about the behaviour of another user on a service to report this immediately to both the service itself and Police.
Andrew McClelland, Chief Executive of the Online Dating Association said:
“We live in a world where much of our contact is now online. Some apps are location based making it easy to meet up with someone nearby and sometimes users aren’t always focused on safety when doing so. Users should remember that exchanging a few messages online does not mean you know someone and that person is still a stranger. It’s always best to meet in public and get to know someone before agreeing to meet privately.”
Our website contains helpful and comprehensive Date Great: Date Safe advice. But here are some of our key safety tips:
- If you are arranging to meet someone make sure it is somewhere public and that a friend or family member know where you will be and share with them the details of the person you are meeting.
- Make your own way to and from the date.
- Take time and care: don’t feel rushed in to meeting up and don’t do or share things online you wouldn’t in person.
- Report any worrying contacts: your safety and that of others matters.
- Never ever respond to a request for money, however desperate or persuasive it seems.
- Use common sense online: use your head as well as your heart.