Staying safe online
As with any type of dating, online dating can carry a potential risk. Although it’s rare, people may misrepresent themselves or you could find yourself in awkward situations you simply don’t know how to handle. Our advice pages are dedicated to helping you deal with all manner of situations and below are the most important things to remember to help you stay safe online.
1. Trust your gut instinct
There are comprehensive guidance pages on the site to help you stay safe online but there really is no better way than trusting your own instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, or a match is pushing the relationship much quicker than you would like, do not over-ride your feelings – listen to them and take appropriate action. For a match to be right it has to feel right.
2. Keep personal information private
This is especially important with regards to your address, workplace, surname, email address, social network pages and telephone numbers. If you feel a strong connection with someone the temptation could be to invite them into your private world straight away. Exercise caution and good judgement and make full use of eHarmony’s anonymous communication systems until you have established a firm connection and are sure the person is genuine.
If anyone asks you for your credit card number; mother’s maiden name or bank details, immediately report a concern to the eHarmony team.
3. Google them
If you’re unsure whether a match is giving you real information about themselves, a quick Google search of their name will usually reveal whether they’re who they say they are. It’s common practice, not just for people who are dating but also for employers to Google prospective employees.
Googling your own name will reveal what information there is about you on the internet.
4. In your own time
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking the dating process at your own pace. Don’t be intimidated by persistent matches who want to meet or talk offline immediately. It’s better to take things slowly and build solid foundations on which a new relationship can flourish than be rushed into something you later regret.
5. Don’t allow other factors to cloud your ability to exercise reasonable caution.
If you’ve been single for a long time then it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and take a chance. Remember your safety online is ultimately your responsibility and the same level of caution should be applied to all matches no matter how long you have been online dating.
6. Treat people as you would like to be treated
It is true that you reap what you sow. Some people think that because they are communicating online that the conventions governing politeness and respect of other people don’t apply. You do not have to like everyone but you can let them down gently and not get into any unpleasant exchanges.
7. Report concerns to eHarmony
eHarmony will close accounts of individuals who are found to have misrepresented themselves on the site, and we take all member complaints seriously. If you have any concerns about a match please do not hesitate to contact our care team and talk through your concerns or email [email protected].
If eHarmony decides to close an account for suspicious activity, or inappropriate behaviour, you will be advised by email to discontinue communicating with the match in question. Please do check communication from eHarmony to ensure this communication is received promptly.
While online dating is safer than many other forms of meeting people we hope that these tips; our advice pages and the comprehensive guidelines on the site, will help to make your eHarmony experience a safe and happy success.
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