If you think you’re being too careful, you’re probably doing it right.“If the person starts asking you for personal details too soon, being pushy about where he or she wants to meet up, or seeming too good to be true, do your homework,” Stewart says.“You don't have to give your direct number,” Stewart says. “Don't mention specific places and times of places you go to,” Stewart says.
“Use reputable dating sites that offer the ability to email prospective dates using a service that conceals both parties’ true email addresses,” Neate says.
Stewart recommends Match.com, Ok Cupid, Tinder, JDate and Christian Mingle, which are all owned by reputable, large companies.
Meeting in a public place seems intuitive – if there are other people around, there will be someone to help you out if need be.
“Meet in public and do not have them pick you up,” Stewart says.
“Does that information stay with that company, or do they sell or lease it out?
Believe it or not, some sites sell your profile or information.
Annie*, a sophomore at the University of California at Los Angeles, has been on a handful of dates with people she met on Tinder.
“I always agreed to meet someone at a restaurant in [my college town] so I could walk myself there and back, which is a lot safer than going to a stranger's house,” Annie says.
Additionally, it is “best to not participate in any activity where you’re not able to leave,” she says.
So stick to coffee shops, restaurants and movie theaters – at least for the first few dates.
“Some sites let you block or report aggressive or inappropriate users,” Stewart says.