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Staying Safe Online

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by match.com Relationship and dating advice from match.com
Staying Safe Online

The best thing about online dating is that it gives you the opportunity to get to know new people at the click of a button. But while it can a whole heap of fun chatting to and meeting lots of lovely potential dates don’t forget to date responsibly to ensure you have a safe and successful experience on match.com.

Here are our top tips for staying safe online, so you can be in control of your dating experience to meet your perfect match.

Take time to get to know your match

The success to dating is to take it at your own pace. When you meet someone online, get to know them well so that you can have a better understanding of who they are and whether you will be compatible. At match.com we offer Emails and Instant Messenger which is a great way to get to know your match without having to share your personal details such as your phone number or your email address. You’ll also be able to build up a relationship with your match before meeting them, so you’ll be sure that when you do go on that date you’ll have a great time.

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Be in control of your experience

Getting to know members on match.com is great fun but if something doesn’t feel right, you can simply alert us to the issue and we will look into it straight away. Whether it’s a member that is not conducting themselves in the spirit of the site, a profile that looks suspicious or a message that has bothered you, tell us about it so that we can do something about it and ultimately keep our members safe and happy.

There are several ways you can report on a profile you’re unsure of:

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• If you have viewed a profile that gives you any cause for concern you can click on the ‘Report a concern’ link at the very foot of their profile

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• If you receive an email that you deem to be inappropriate you can click on the ‘Report a concern’ link within the email

• If you receive an IM message that you deem to be inappropriate you can click on the ‘Report a concern’ link within the IM window
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• If you don’t want to talk to someone anymore you can block their profile using the ‘Blacklist this profile’ link at the very foot of their profile

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Recognise the warning signs

This is especially important to note if someone is asking you for money. It would cause alarm bells if someone asked you for money at a pub or café and the same rules should apply online. Although scams are rare, it’s good to look out for the warning signs, especially if you have decided to communicate with somebody privately outside of our site.

• If someone makes a declaration of love before you’ve met, be wary.
• Requests for money or financial assistance are not acceptable. If you are in any doubt, speak to Customer Care on 020 305 96 492.
• If someone avoids giving basic details about themselves, but asks you a lot of questions about your own situation, consider their motives. Don’t be afraid to ask questions back at them and if you spot any inconsistencies in their answers, make a note. If you are suspicious, enter their name into an internet search engine, or report them to our Customer Care team.
• If someone is genuinely interested in you, this will naturally develop into a decision to meet up. If you have been in contact with someone for a long time and they haven’t suggested a face-to-face meeting then consider ceasing contact with them. A relationship cannot exist on emails alone; focus on someone who is able to meet you in person instead.

If you feel that you may have experienced monetary fraud, report it to Action Fraud using their online fraud reporting tool which is available here..

Be date smart

Meeting your date for the first time is really exciting, but it’s important to stay safe when meeting someone new.

When arranging to meet a date choose a location that’s in public such as a café or a restaurant, as this will make you feel comfortable and secure. Cafés are especially good as your date can be as short or long as you want depending on how well you get on. Coffee could always turn into dinner/lunch too!

Don’t get picked up from your house as you are giving away really private information before you’ve even met. Also, tell a family member or friend where you are going and when you plan to get back.

Staying sober throughout your first date may seem like killjoy advice, but having a few too many drinks could lead to you to make unsafe decisions.

Always take a mobile phone with you on a date so you can get in touch with family or friends if you need to.

Long distance meetings

The wonders of technology mean that long distance relationships are no longer the stuff of fantasies and we often see relationships blooming where the couple live in separate counties. However, exciting as it is to strike up a romance with a long-distance lover, you should always take extra care when travelling to meet someone for the first time.

Stay in a hotel. If you can’t afford to stay in a hotel, don’t go. Never stay at the other person’s home on your first visit and don’t accept a pick up from your date. Understandably, you might feel that you trust your date and you have built a bond through communication however you never really know someone until you meet them face to face. It’s good to remember this.

Keep your hotel location private. Until you are completely certain of the person’s intentions, don’t reveal exactly where you’re staying. Always tell a friend or family member who you are meeting, exactly where you are going, what you plan to do whilst you are away and when you plan to return. Keep in regular contact with this friend via text message or email and share information about the date with them.

Trust your instincts

The most important advice we can give you is to trust your instincts. Dating online and offline have the same principles, so be smart and you’ll be sure to find your match. If someone asks you for money or behaves in a suspicious manner, report them to match. We want you to have the best possible dating experience, and we are here to support you at every step of your journey.