Online dating was once so taboo. Now in the year, 2015 it’s the norm. With sites like, Tinder and OkCupid it’s not strange to meet your new beau on the web. With that being said, it’s always good to be careful when you put yourself out there. Everyone is on the internet. Dating online you may find your Prince Charming but you might run into a couple of weirdos first. Lets be safe and not have an Investigation Discovery episode made out of our life. Below I will give you some tips on staying safe while dating online:

Use A Nickname/ Alias: The web is full of information, tons and tons of personal information. You don’t want your first and last name on a dating website where strangers can see. It’s best to assume that some crazy deranged stalker has seen your profile. If you have your full name on your page it’s easier to find you if someone wanted to. All they would have to do is pay some website for it all. So please use an alias in the beginning.

Use Pictures Not On Other Public Profiles: Again, you don’t want all of these people to be able to find you on things like Facebook or your school website. With Google image search, it’s easy to find any other profile you have of yourself using that picture. If you must, take a couple of pictures especially for that profile so the wrong person can’t find you.

Ask for their Instagram or Facebook: So you get a message from an amazingly sexy man, it’s almost too good to be true. Maybe all of his pictures look like they came from GQ magazine or he may seem out of your league (no one is out of your league beautiful). Ask for other profiles. There are a lot of internet fakes out there. Catfish! If he has other profiles with friends who he actually interacts with, he may not be fake. It’s best to double check.

Skype and Facetime first: With the previous tip there are people who create multiple fake profiles to make it seem as if they have friends or family (people have too much time on their hands). You never want to go on a date and realize that the stud in the pictures is actually a 42 year old out of shape bald guy. Skype to make sure you are really meeting up who you think you are. This saves a lot of time and trouble.

Google Voice: When online dating you might not want to give out your real number to everyone. Your number can link to your Facebook, Instagram and other profiles. Set up a Google Voice number that will forward to your real phone before trusting someone with your number.

Keep Screen Shot in Mind: These men out here are ruthless. Conversations can turn sexual very fast and he may ask for a sexy picture. I would advise against sending a stranger nudes or sexually explicit pictures of yourself. But if you are a little free with it, keep in mind that screen shot can be used against you. Where do you think those Instagram expose profiles get all of those girls nudes from?

Meet in a Public Place: I cannot stress this enough. Meet in a public place! You never want to end up at a psychos house with no way out. Come on, be smart. Meet at the mall or Starbucks. Don’t risk meeting at their place or in a secluded area. I don’t care how nice he is. Sociopaths are almost always charming.

Online dating can be very beneficial and fun. You could meet a lot of interesting people you may have never ran into without the internet. But, it can also be dangerous. So stay safe, keep these tips in mind and have your fun girl!