Top Tips of Keeping Yourself From Getting Catfished Online

As a single mother, I am not ashamed to admit that I have tried online dating. Online dating for me turned out to be more of a social experiment as oppose to a way to find love. There are many commercials and real life stories of people who have found their husband or wife through online dating. So, it is a good assumption to say that there are some people who do reap some benefits from online dating.

But if you watch just one episode of catfish you can see that their are many online dating horror stories. In fact it amazes me at how many people get tricked into dating people for years without ever really knowing what they look like. So here are my tips on how to prevent yourself from getting cat fished online.

Ask For Pictures

Obviously if you met the person online, then you are going to see pictures of them. But just because the pictures are on their profile does not mean that these are pictures of them. Once you start talking to someone, try to ask for random photos at random times of the day. Most importantly ask them to text it to you.

A red flag is if when asking for a picture of someone, and they constantly put you off or send you a picture days after you have asked them. This may be a sign that they got the picture from somewhere or someone else.

Skype or Video Chat.

This one should be a no brainier, if you want to make sure the person that you are talking to is really the person you are talking to, then of course you need to see them. It shocks me how people can go on for years and years with talking to someone online and not see their face. Then magically they are somehow shocked that when they really see the person it is not them.

After talking to someone for a while, video chatting with them is perfectly normal and expected. Once again if someone is actively avoiding you from seeing them, then they are not who they say they are. You should be concerned.

Talk To Them on The Phone

Talking on the phone is one of the easiest things you can do. Almost everyone has a cell phone and there are no long distant charges so there is no reason why someone cannot talk on the phone with you. Some red flags to look out for is not being able to talk on the phone, never talking on the phone while they are at home, or being rushed off the phone. This may not only signify that they are are not who they say they are, but that they may be hiding a spouse or a hidden life from you as to why they are not free to talk on the phone at various times of the day.

Background Check

I am not talking about running their social security number but rather researching the information they tell you. This includes running their image through image search to see if the pictures on their profile come up as someone else. Also do a reverse phone search, their phone number should come up registered to them and in the location they say they are in.

Progression of the Relationships

As with any relationships, their should be some type of progression. This means you should be talking on the phone, seeing each other, making plans to go on real life dates. Never under any circumstances should you be in a situations where you have been taking to someone for years and years and have never even seen their face. After of about two month (max) of talking to someone, you have not seen their face in person or on Skype then just let it go. Something is wrong here.

As a single women and mother I have tried all the dating tips and trick. And they are all in my book “Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.” Read the first two chapters free on Amazon. Click this link to purchase http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-After-Gods-Heart-Encouragement/dp/1493698303/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Protecting Your Image: Online Dating and Private Photo Sharing

Would you feel safe handing photos of yourself out to everyone in the world without knowing their intentions, mental stability, criminal background or position in your workplace? Most of us wouldn’t, and yet scores of people do just that every day-by posting their photos on dating websites, classified personals such as craigslist, e-mailing them or using other non-secure channels.

We’ve grown to trust the Internet as a fixture in our daily lives. However, the digital world poses the same threats to our personal safety and privacy as the real world, only amplified through its ability to connect anyone with any bit of data that floats freely through the ether. In the world of online dating, people may feel safer because they share images anonymously but, in reality, this just opens up more questions about who you’re looking at and vice versa.

Sharing photos through text, e-mail, online dating sites or public photo sharing environments puts your image in front of anyone and everyone, possibly affecting your personal safety, reputation and your employability. In one high-profile case, Congressman Chris Lee’s shirtless photo, e-mailed to a woman that he met on craigslist, forced him to resign after his “private” image went public. But you don’t have to be famous to become the victim of misused photo sharing. In Dallas, a firefighter lost his job after the husband of a woman with whom he had an affair informed the fire department of the nude photos that the firefighter posted on various adult dating websites that were specifically marketed for casual sexual encounters. In Canada, a judge stepped down after explicit pictures, taken by her attorney husband and shared through e-mail without her knowledge, surfaced online on a porn website.

In addition, there are many cases when a person’s photo has been stolen or saved and used by another to create a fictitious online identity-a scenario chronicled in the documentary film Catfish. While a few states have updated their laws to include online impersonation as a crime, it is often hard to track, with many unaware that they are victims. In one instance, a California man had his pictures “borrowed” and used by another man who was meeting women on a popular Jewish dating site. It was only by chance that he knew a woman who was communicating with this man and had received the pictures during their correspondence. In another instance, a 24-year-old Denver woman had her photos and details taken from her Facebook page and used by a 46-year-old woman for over six months to communicate with men that she met on various free and paid dating sites. No legal action was taken by the state in either case.

Dating sites are also a playing ground for con artists, criminals and sex offenders. Countless stories have surfaced about people who have sent money or goods to people who have romanced them online; others have been robbed at knifepoint, sexually abused and even murdered. It is wise, therefore, to add a layer of protection to your screening process by protecting your images and personal identity.

If you want to share photos with that online charmer-or with anyone else, for that matter-you should look into a private photo sharing service. These services offer a closed, secure environment in which members can share photos, anonymously or otherwise. When selecting such a service, make sure you have control over who specifically can look at your photos, which photos they can see and how long the photos remain viewable to them. Also, confirm that the site offers security features that protect your images from being captured or saved by the viewer in order to prevent them from being used in an unintended way.

Posting a Profile Picture

Meeting someone online does involve knowing that there will be a certain level of attraction, so posting a picture in an online profile has been shown to increase the number of responses an online dater receives. Some services go even further to protect your anonymity. One private photo sharing site, for example, lets you create a “teaser image” that clouds your image just enough to keep your identity private, while still allowing viewers to get a general idea of what you look like. Members can post this teaser image in the form of a JPEG file, link or clickable image on dating sites or other online locations as part of their personal profile and direct the individuals that they are interested in back to the website to see their actual photo. The service also uses patent-pending technology to prevent people from saving, forwarding or otherwise tampering with your images once they have viewing access to them.

In a world where privacy has largely become a thing of the past, it’s up to you to find and maintain a safe harbor for your online identity. Don’t depend on the kindness of strangers-take steps to make sure your private life stays private.

Five Tips For The First Date

It’s difficult to make an authentic connection with a stranger unless you have a natural chemistry, but if it feels right for both of you, sparks can fly. Conversely, although it’s sometimes love at first sight, a gradually developing integration of sizzling banter and sparkling repartee might also win the day. For some, online dating websites are a tempting avenue packed with potential possibilities.

If you do try them, make sure that the dating service you employ gives you like-minded matches. Look for a site that matches all of your kooky personality quirks. If you decide on using something that only capitalizes on your all-day adoration for Hello Kitty, then you could paint yourself into a corner. Instead, share all of your interests in your online profile. Don’t have any misgivings. Be utterly misgivingless.

Oh, and do not misrepresent yourself online. If you state that you’re five years younger than you really are, or you purposefully use out-of-date photos from your “thinner era”, then you’re lying about yourself. No one wants to be on the receiving end of fraudulent trickery, or catfished by improper untruthiness. The same goes for your prospective date. If they pretend that they’ve got an awesome job or a crazy, celebrity-filed lifestyle and that’s really not the case, then you’re going to feel pretty cheated by their deceit. When creating your profile, be sincere, and trade in nothing but honesty. Tell it like it really is.

If you’ve tried a spot of online dating and are meeting up with a suitor for your first date, you might like to keep in mind these four instructional tips on first date etiquette.

Tip 1:

On a first date, choose a neat balance of seriousness and fun. Don’t be too humorless but, equally, don’t come across exclusively interested in lightweight, throwaway subjects. It’s important to keep conversation positive and enjoyable. An upbeat natter about your personal passions will ALWAYS be preferable to The Big Three Taboos, e.g. religion, politics and past relationships (the latter is the biggest no-no, because it signals to your date that you’ve not got over the previous partner).

Tip 2:

Don’t be afraid to start up a meaningful conversation. If you’ve met on a serious dating website, the chances are that the pair of you are looking for something real. Compelling questions about your career, the most important things in your life or plans for the future, are a necessary part of getting to know someone better. Let the chatting flow naturally, and don’t forget to listen. Busying yourself by continually thinking of the next conversation topic makes you seem either rude, easily distracted, or scarcely interested in what they have to say. If possible, keep the talking/listening ratio to a symmetrical 50/50 split if possible.

Tip 3:

General modern etiquette proclaims that whoever proposes the date will pay, but this should probably be talked about beforehand, so as to cease any potential faux pas blunderings. Men traditionally pay for dinner, but won’t mind if the girl wants to pay for the second meet-up: If you make him feel at ease on the first date, he’ll be open to letting you pay the next time.

Tip 4:

Act confident and self-assured, and display positive and encouraging body language. Make eye contact, smile, and lean in when talking. If there’s an attraction and you want to meet up again, don’t be shy and play hard to get. Playing pretend-uninterested is genuinely tiresome, so go ahead and ask for a second date. Something bold but controlled like “I had a really nice time with you tonight, and I’d like to see you again” is entirely appropriate. If you get rejected, take it like an adult and move on; there’s no use dwelling, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Tip 5:

DO NOT get drunk. Most people know that drinking too much can lead to awkward displays of idiocy. An anxious or worried mind can become a weak mush, and a few alcoholic beverages can appear to be a good idea at the time. However, getting wasted is an impractical quick-fix that might combat the nervous nerves, but you won’t emerge funnier or more charismatic; you’ll appear insecure and boorish. Don’t hide behind a flurry of hastily-ordered glasses of wine or a few beers that encourage such mortifyingly humiliating behavior. Avoiding that will avoid that.

Hopefully some of these words of wisdom might help some readers!