Staying safe on dating apps should be your top priority, here’s how


Mckenzie Kerrigan, Managing Editor

Thousands of young adults are on dating apps searching for the one, but there can be many dangers people overlook. With United Nations Women documenting the increase in violence against women worldwide, and recent news of women being targeted on dating apps, the time to be cautious is now. Here are some tips on what to look out for and how to stay safe when navigating online dating. 

Meeting in a public place

When going on a first date, it is best to meet in a public area. This area should be a place with other people, and preferably in a lit spot where it is easy to see. In bad situations, this can allow people to help faster and it is easier to keep an eye on your surrounding areas, like food and drinks. Dark restaurants with minimal people, or even too many people, can lead to easier accessibility of drugging your food or drinks in the worst case scenario. 

Keep your friends updated

No matter if it is the first or fifth date, always keep your friends or family updated. It is best to tell them when you arrive, leave, meet your date and the location as well. For first dates, you should describe and give the name of who you are meeting to someone you trust while taking additional safety precautions. 

Verify with your date

When going out, it is best to know what your date looks like, their name and if possible try having a conversation beforehand. This can allow you to not only meet the right person, but also establish if this person is safe in your standards. However, if your date doesn’t match up with who they say they are, or look like, it’s best to follow your gut.

Red flags to watch out for

While a fish in their profile photo, weird bios, and their ex in pictures are some red flags, here is a little more to look out for when thinking about your safety. Keep an eye out for how they treat you over messages or in person. If they seem pushy or forceful, it is best to rethink. Also, keep an eye out for where they suggest taking you and their body language. A good key is if you don’t feel safe or comfortable alone there, you should reconsider the date.

Don’t put personal information on your profile

It’s hard to keep everything private with so many different social media platforms. However, never put personal information out there for strangers. When using dating apps, be aware not to include your phone number, address and possibly your work/school. Be aware that these aren’t in your photos because this can be a big opening for potential stalkers.