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5 Red Flags and Tips for Online Dating

ODheart 150x150Every once in a while a story comes out in the news about a person who has had a bad dating experience with someone they’ve met online. Men are fearful that every woman will turn out to be crazy. Women on the other hand need to know that they will be safe with their date.

I’m here to tell you that the same people who date online also date offline, so when it comes to dating safety, these rules will apply for both.

Let’s start with the fact that about one-half of the single population in the United States are now dating online. This number is huge and should give you the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone in cyberspace.

Here are my rules for safe online dating.

1. Have a phone pre-date.

Not everyone gives good phone, but if the phone call is awful and you’re struggling to keep the conversation going, chances are you’ll have a bad experience on your date. After a few email or text exchanges, I recommend scheduling a phone date. Keep the phone call to 20 minutes or less, as you don’t want to reveal everything about yourself before you meet IRL. If you click on the phone, that’s terrific. Suggest putting a date on the calendar, sooner rather than later. If you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair or in a deposition, be kind and let the person know that you don’t think you have enough in common and wish them the best with their search. If someone is unwilling to take the time to call you, then move on to someone who values your desire to hear his or her voice.

2. Do a Google search.

I’m often asked if someone should search their date on Google and the answer of course is yes! Everyone does. However, just like you shouldn’t kiss-and-tell, you should not Google-and tell. By revealing and questioning your date about your findings on Google, you will come across as a stalker and just might get canceled on. Knowledge is power, up to a point.

3. Check their Facebook photos.

A picture tells a thousand words, or does it? Those posting old prom shots or photo-shopped pictures can get old when you go on a date and barely recognize him or her. My recommendation is to hop over to Facebook or Instagram and view real-life photos. If the photo from last night’s concert resembles his or her online dating profile shots, you’re in pretty good shape. Better yet, view some of their selfies, which are less than polished.

4. Listen more than talk.

If your date seems to be a drama queen or catastrophizes and plays the victim, they’ll let you know early on. This is a red flag that if the relationship goes south, it might not be an amicable departure. For this reason, I stress that you should wait before allowing someone to know where you live. You should continue to meet in a public place for your early dates. Let them talk about ex’s, bad dates, and all the reasons why they are still single and sit back and listen.

5. Trust your gut.

Trusting your intuition is the number one way to make a decision whether to go on a date with someone or not. Take your time in getting to know him or her and enjoy the courting process. If stories aren’t adding up or if you feel in your heart there’s something wrong, you just might save yourself from a future heartbreak.

Contact us for more information on how to create an Irresistible Profile to attract your dream date.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of CybeDatingExpert.com and was an early adopter of Internet dating. Julie’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Online Dating Safety Tips from an Expert

datingsafety 240x300Online dating safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned with. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we take safety seriously and are always sharing ways for you to feel safe and enjoy the Internet dating experience.

In Louisiana, three stories occurred this month involving people who met online dating, social networking sites that resulting in hijacking and other crimes such as a robbery in a car.

In one case, a man went to his car to meet a potential date, and instead of finding the woman, ten men were there, which resulted in a carjacking.

I spent the morning on the radio on WWL AM/FM in New Orleans to provide dating safety tips to help prevent such occurrences.

While these occurrences are rare, it’s still important to point out the following, whether dating online or offline.

1. Meet in a public place and don’t pick up your date.

2. Don’t give out your last name or information where you work

3. Let a friend know where you are meeting and call in or text to let them know you’re fine

4. Don’t suggest a late night date

5. Never go back to someone’s home on a first date

6. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol, which will impair your judgment

7. Carry pepper spray on your key chain for when you’re walking to your car at night

8. Conduct a Google search for your date’s name, phone number, and email addresss

9. View your date’s profile photos in a Google reverse image search by uploading it to Google.com/images

10. Do a background or people search for your date on sites such as Radaris or Spokeo

11. Set up a free Google voice account with a number exclusively for dating

12. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave

13. If your date makes you feel unsafe online or offline, report their profile to the dating site

14. Take your time getting to know someone on the phone and through emails before meeting

15. Trust your intuition

Realize that while maybe 10% of your dates might not be truthful or may have ulterior motives, about 90% of the dates are truly great people looking to connect. There are millions of singles finding love online. Keep these safety tips in mind as you schedule your dates, but still enjoy the time getting to know someone.

Researching Dates Can Prevent a Romance Scam

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Romance scams have been in the news lately from singles who are members of online dating sites and social networking sites. Every time I hear one of these stories, it breaks my heart. With Valentine’s Day putting extra pressure on dating, it’s extremely important to make sure that singles are doing their research when looking for a date, whether online or offline.

Know that online dating safety is of the highest importance here at Cyber-Dating Expert.

As a result, I’ve become a Spokesperson for Spokeo, an online search service which provides publicly available data to help you research your dates.

New research provided by Spokeo and Harris Interactive was just released which shows that 71% of Americans are willing to conduct some kind of informational search about the person they are dating. This tells me that singles are taking dating safety very seriously.

Here are 7 tips to help avoid being a victim of a romance scam.

1. If your date’s photos are either blurry or look like they are from a stock photo gallery, or look model-like or too good to be true, it’s time to do some digging.

2. Those involved in perpetrating a romance scam want to take the conversation off the dating site quickly and onto a private chat or instant messenger service. This avoids having the conversations documented or traceable by the dating site?s software. Until you’re sure about your date, keep the conversations on the dating site.

3. If he or she says they’re in love with you very quickly, don’t jump for joy just yet. Romance scammers often will say they’ve never felt this way before about anyone before and they’ve waited their whole life to meet you. Their grammar often isn’t correct and they have an accent if you speak to them on the phone.

4. If he or she lives out of town or out of the country, find out where they really live. If their efforts to visit you get repeatedly canceled due to a work or family emergency, you should be raising a digital eyebrow.

5. If your potential date has a work or family emergency and asks you to wire them money, don’t fall for it. It’s likely they’ll say if you really love them, you’ll help them out and they’ll pay you back quickly. Often the excuse is their funds are temporarily tied up. Don’t fall for it.

6. Make sure to look up the data that you have on someone you’re dating. This can be easily done by plugging the information you have into an online search engine to see if what you find online matches up with what the other person is claiming. Sites like Google and Spokeo can be very informative to research your date.

7. If any of these things happen to you, never ever send money. Do not sent money via Western Union or a foreign bank. Report the profile in question to the dating site and understand that you’re one of many that this person is writing to try try to sweep you off your feet and promise you a life of love and happiness.

Know that you can do a simple search of your potential date’s email address, phone number, or even user name by going to Spokeo.com.

Happy safe dating this Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy the Infographic below and feel free to share this with all of your single friends.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Disclaimer: Cyber-Dating Expert is a paid Spokesperson for Spokeo

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35% of Americans Willing to Pay for Dating Research in Order to Feel Safer – An infographic by the team at Spokeo People Search

Julie Spira on FOX 11 News with Online Dating Advice

Screen shot 2012 03 26 at 10.50.27 AM 150x150As a guest on FOX 11 in Los Angeles, I spoke with Phil Shuman about some of the Internet dating safety tips and advice that I recommend for singles looking for love online.

Some dating tips include:

  • Do a Google search for your date’s email
  • Do a Google search for your date’s phone number
  • Set up a Google Voice number for dating
  • Set up a gmail account on Google for dating purposes
  • Trust your intuition and report any suspicious activity to the online dating site

At the end of the digital day, there are a lot of terrific people joining online dating sites. You just be able to find your match.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert, cyber-relations expert, and author of the bestseller, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com, where you can sign up for the Weekly Flirt dating advice newsletter. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Online Dating Sites Will Become Safer for Singles [video]

Online dating has just taken a big leap to help singles feel safer while looking for love on the Internet.

This week, Kamala D. Harris, the Attorney General for the State of California released a joint statement for online dating safety practices to help singles feel safer while looking for love online. Online dating sites eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks signed the agreement together, which will require sites to provide dating safety tips and do the necessary background checks to as agreed in the statement.

On our site, CyberDatingExpert.com, you’ll now see a link for SAFETY on the top of our home page. We want you to fall in love and we want to help you find your dream date. We also want to make sure that you’re following our safety tips as we take this topic very seriously.

In a recent interview on GenConnect TV, I discussed some dating safety tips that you should take to heart.

For more online dating safety tips, visit CyberDatingExpert.com

Julie Spira is an online dating and cyber-relations expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

 

5 Online Dating Safety Tips

Online dating is a fun and flirty way to meet a lot of people. If you’re ego has recently been bruised from a breakup or you just haven’t been in a relationship for awhile, before you get started, read my Top 5 cyberdating safety tips to make sure you’re dating safely while looking for love online.

1. Always meet in a public place. Having a home cooked candlelight meal may seem romantic on the phone or in a text message, but in real-life, you may be headed towards the bedroom prematurely. Whether it’s coffee, lunch, or a walk in the park, pick a place where others will see you. If you need to yell for help, you’ll have the chance to be heard.

2. Don’t give out your home phone number. Phone numbers can easily be traced to your home addresses. If your date goes south, the last thing you want is to have a stalker at your door. Give out your cell phone number and keep your exact home address to yourself until you get to know your date better.

3. Don’t talk about finances. Conversations with someone you are meeting for the first time should be light and friendly. Don’t reveal banking information or let them know if you are about to receive a large bonus or an inheritance or you might find your date has ulterior motives.

4. Get your friends involved. Create a buddy system where you always tell a friend who you are going out with on a first date. Provide the screen name, site you met your date on, and the name of the restaurant. Check in with your friend during the date. Let them know you are fine, or if you are uncomfortable, just leave. You don’t need to explain why you are leaving.

5. Trust your intuition. Your instincts are usually good. If someone is changing plans last minute and suggests a late night date or convinces you to meet at their home, take a rain check.

These online dating safety tips are mostly common sense, but sometimes your judgment can be impaired when you’re thrilled with the excitement of your new date.

Apply these rules to those you meet offline as well. Don’t get caught up in the romance and end up in trouble. You really don’t know who is hiding behind their computer screen.

How to Block Your Date – Try JDate’s New Feature

Say Goodbye to your Online Date

I received an email in my Inbox today from JDate?, the largest online dating site for Jewish singles ?announcing their new all-block feature. The email simply said, “JDate’s Got Your Block.” It was a catchy email and got my attention.

Now at the bottom of each online dating profile on their site, you have the ability to say goodbye forever to the bad date or former beau who broke your heart while looking for love online.

Since cyberdating safety is such a hot issue now, I think this is a great move from JDate. It’s simple to use and not much different than Facebook’s blocking feature. If you want to block someone for inappropriate behavior or someone you simply don’t want to have looking at your personal and online identities, here’s instructions on how to block your date:

1. You pull up a profile of someone you are interested in blocking.

2. At the bottom of the profile, it will say Report a Concern and the word Block.

3. Click on Block and a drop down menu will appear with the choice of:

  • Block member from?contacting?you
  • Block member from?appearing?in your search results
  • Block member from?viewing your profile?in his/her search results

4. Click Submit and you’re done.

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Screenshot A


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Screenshot B

Voila! You have erased that person from your search and from contacting you, should you desire.

Should you use their blocking features? I think it’s terrific that you are given a choice of options. ?From putting one toe in to the entire 10, the selection is up to you.

Naturally, the person you have blocked may realize you have done so, but dating should be about a matter of choice. If you’re uncomfortable, then go ahead and block someone. If you want to leave the door open for future communication, then I suggest you don’t block him or her. They won’t be happy to see you have done so.

For those who haven’t been able to get over their ex and are obsessively looking at their profile, this feature is for you.

At the end of the day, you’ll want to enjoy your experience and find someone to meet online rather than spend time on deciding which profiles you should block.

Will you use their blocking feature? Comments are always appreciated.

Note: Screen shot taken from my personal profile on JDate’s site

Interested in trying JDate? Click here to join

The Love Doctor on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Listen to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, where ?Dr. Terri L. Orbuch, The Love Doctor for SeniorPeopleMeet.com provided terrific online dating tips for singles of all ages. Senior People Meet focuses on singles in the 50+ crowd who are interested in finding love online.

Hear Dr. Terri’s dating advice for:

* Online dating safety
* When to introduce your date to your children
* Why physical qualities are important to both men and women
* When to take down your online dating profile

Listen to the program to learn more about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World.

Listen to internet radio with Cyber-Dating Expert on Blog Talk Radio