My mother has never been the most tech-savvy person, so you can imagine my surprise when I went to her house one day and found out she’d joined a dating site. She had created her account a few days earlier and was already completely turned off by the whole process — partly because she hadn’t done any research beforehand, and partly because she wasn’t sure what the necessary safety precautions were.
With almost 24 million people aged 50 and older in the U.K., my mother definitely isn’t the only one who’s experienced this situation. Before you leap into online dating, like my mum did, here are four safety factors to consider when choosing a senior dating website.
- Make Sure the Website Receives Positive Reviews
The first thing you’ll want to do before signing up for an online dating service is to do a little research, and it really doesn’t take that much time. There are loads of places that provide in-depth senior dating sites reviews that go into everything (from the registration to the pricing to the features and the people behind the sites), with Match.com always being among the top ranked.
You can also check out 3rd party review sites to read comments from users just like you.
- You Have Access to Helpful Services, Like Blocking Abusive Members
When choosing a dating site for seniors, you want one that’s reputable, but you also want one that provides members with useful features that can help keep them safe during every part of the process. These kind of features can include buttons that allow you to block or report abusive members as well as the ability to hide your profile from others at any time.
The most trustworthy dating sites will also use advanced technology to keep scammers at bay, such as SSL Encryption and email verification. Another trick for checking to see if the website is secure is to look for the padlock icon at the beginning of the URL.
- There’s a Responsive Customer Support Team
While the technology behind a dating site is important in terms of keeping you safe, being able to reach a real person should be another top priority in your prospecting. It’s also worth checking to see if customer service is available via email and phone. This will ensure that they’re actively keeping an eye on the site and their members. Match.com have a great Help Online centre for any customer service related queries.
- Safety Tips are Available on the FAQ Page and/or Blog
Lastly, another factor to look out for when searching for your ideal senior online dating site is the available safety information. I suggest picking one that has an extensive FAQ page, safety page, and/or blog that addresses topics like “How long should I talk to someone before meeting in person?” or “What do I do if a match asks for my personal information?”
The bottom line is you should never be in a situation like my mum was — where you fear for your safety while online dating. If you do a little studying beforehand, take advantage of the resources available, and keep your wits about you, you’ll find the right senior dating site for you and, most importantly, have fun while searching for that special someone. Cheers!
Hayley Matthews is editor-in-chief at DatingAdvice.com, a popular site featuring advice from more than 250 dating coaches, matchmakers, and other relationship experts. In addition to expert tips and guides, the site also publishes reviews of the best online dating sites, where Hayley and her team rate Match.com as the #1 online dating site. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to The Beatles or watching Harry Potter.