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Amazon CodeWhile meeting and dating new people is fun and exciting, it is important to remember to always be as safe as possible. The guy you met the other night at the bar probably is who he says he is, but when you are just starting out, you can never be too careful. Always take your own car to the first few dates and arrange them at public places. Its even a good idea to make sure at least one friend knows where you’ll be going.

In this day and age of technology, you need to be extra weary about giving out your information—especially if it is someone you met online. Don’t give out your number right away. Instead, set up an email solely for dating purposes and use that until you establish some kind of trust with the person. (Don’t use an email you use for social media accounts or for any other purposes because when you Google a person’s email, most of the accounts they use that email for will show up. You don’t want this person having access to all your information!)

A positive side to the amount of information accessible via the internet, though, is that you can (and should) use it to your advantage. Simply Googling your date’s name should render some sort of information that (hopefully) matches what they have told you about themselves.

There are also plenty of free database access outlets for criminal records, etc. (Note: if you want to go as far as paying for a background search on someone, make sure it is the right person. Many people have the same name!).

Most of the people you meet are probably genuine and looking for someone just as you are. But it is better to be safe than sorry. Be smart; don’t put too much information about yourself online and take the necessary precautions to make sure your dates are who they say they are!

For more information on safe-guarding yourself, check out the full Kindle version of 10 Rules to Survive the Dating Jungle.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.