Swiping right on cyber-dating safety
HALIFAX -- The dating world is constantly evolving, with many people opting for online dating because they don't want to meet at bars. However, there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to finding virtual love.
Halifax resident, Mallory Basha, has been using dating apps for almost a year following the end of a long-term relationship. The 22-year-old keeps an open mind with every date she goes on – and always makes safety a top priority.
"We'll go get coffee, we'll go in the daytime, we'll go to an establishment I know,” says Basha. “I often don't accept if they want to drive. I'm fortunate enough to have a vehicle of my own – so I have a way out."
N.S. RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke echo’s Basha’s feelings – you can never be too safe when you're meeting a stranger for the first time.
"It might be hard to get any warning flags when you're looking at someone's picture online or their profile,” says Clarke. “But I think what's important is if you're going to meet up with someone, make sure it's in a public place and make sure someone knows where you are, where you're going and what time you'll be back."
Clarke’s words of advice are what Basha says she follows every time one of her friends meets somebody new.
Makers of popular dating app, Tinder, announced a new panic button will be installed to help users who feel concerned or unsafe while on a date. Experts in the industry say the news is welcomed, as online dating sites and apps are the number-one way couples are meeting across North America.
"This is going to make people feel safer – especially women,” says author and cyber-dating expert, Julie Spira. “Women get very nervous about going on dates with people they've never met before. So this takes it a step further."
Meanwhile, many local bars and restaurants encourage patrons to notify their staff when they’re on a date and feeling uncomfortable so that they can intervene.