Online Dating Safety Tips
Offline First Date Precautions
iPredator Online Dating Safety Tips: As of 2015, 41+ million Americans have tried online Meeting a love interest online ranks third with a connection initiated by friends or love ones second and meeting someone at school or work first. If you plan on joining the growing population of online dating site members or presently involved, spend some time learning internet safety and online dating safety to insulate yourself from being targeted by men or women online engaged in nefarious online activities.
As a first step, thoroughly read the iPredator construct definition posted here. As a forensic & criminal psychologist, this writer has designed a theoretical construct, iPredator, defining anyone who goes online to harm, exploit, victimize or abuse other online users. The only downside of Information and Communications Technology is the ability for some segments of the population to create fabricated online identities to take advantage of unsuspecting men, women and children.
iPredator: A person, group or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion or national heritage. iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, coercive, deviant or abusive behaviors using ICT. Central to the construct is the premise that Information Age criminals, deviants and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity.
Whether the offender is a cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, internet troll, cyber terrorist, cyberbully, online child pornography consumer/distributor or engaged in internet defamation or nefarious online deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
- A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT.
- The usage of ICT to obtain, exchange and deliver harmful information.
- A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators rely upon the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators habitually deceive others using ICT in the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace. Therefore, as the internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity, if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.
Cyberstealth, a sub-tenet of iPredator, is a covert method by which iPredators attempt to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is iPredator Victim Intuition [IVI], an iPredator’s IVI is their aptitude to sense a target’s ODDOR [Offline Distress Dictates Online Response], online & offline vulnerabilities, psychological weaknesses, technological limitations, increasing their success of a cyber-attack with minimal ramifications.
Once you have read iPredator, be sure to follow the tips below and talk to friends and loved ones about what tips they recommend. A good metaphor to think of is you would never buy a used car without having the engine checked first and taking it for a drive. Have a great time, good luck and “listen to your heart, but follow thoughtful logic.”
Online Dating Safety Checklist
1. Make sure the online dating site posts their physical address, as well as, a phone number for contact. A reputable online dating company always has a physical office within your geographic region, state or country. Like with any social networking site, it is important to do your homework and always approach with caution.
2. If you are interested in a particular dating site or service, do a Google search first and check out the first 3-5 pages to see what others have said about their services. Spending a good hour or two researching the site or service should give you a fair estimate of their reputation.
3. Make sure your personal details will not be visible or passed on to third parties. Read each online dating site’s privacy statement and make sure they specifically define if and how your personal information will be shared. Your personal information should always be highly guarded and only shared with those you trust implicitly.
4. Set up a new email account for online dating that will be separate from all personal and work accounts. Make it your personal dating email account. Do not use your work email, home email or emails you often access. It takes 15-20 minutes to sign up for an email account reserved for online dating.
5. Keep personal details private. An online dating site with your profile is designed to attract a potential partner. This doesn’t mean you need to disclose personal details on your profile or share any information that can be used by others to identify you or your home location. With some creative thought, you can communicate attributes about yourself without disclosing identification information.
6. Do not give away too much and remember to only give out a little. In addition to keeping your personal details closely guarded, review your entire profile, privacy settings and account settings to make sure you are not giving out any unnecessary information. Given that all social networking sites have multiple account, privacy and contact settings, be mindful of becoming familiar of all these functions before posting your profile.
7. Use a bland or regular Username. When choosing a username, be aware of loaded or hidden meanings it may have. Also, never use any part of your real name in your username or public profile. With some creative thought, you can design an attractive profile name that is not overly sexually provocative or disclosing personal information.
8. Use a private cell number or service. With today’s Information and Communications Technology, it is very easy with a little effort to locate someone’s geographic location by their phone number. Just as easy it is to set up a separate online dating email address; it is also effortless to set up a private phone contact number.
9. Stick with paid online dating services. Although many of the free online dating sites are free to sign up and reputable, the fact that others can do the same cannot be overlooked. Most iPredators will look to target their prey at these sites because they do not have to pay using personally identifiable information. Although many of these sites are legitimate and save consumers membership fees, they still can’t verify their members are who they’re portraying themselves to be. This is true as well for paid sites, but having to pay with a credit card decreases the iPredator pool.
10. Arrange to meet. When meeting for the first time, never allow your date to pick you up from your home. In fact, your date should not even know where you live. It certainly is acceptable letting the person know why you are requiring that this forum is mandatory. If they dispute this request, they clearly have little respect for your wishes and indicates their motives may not be genuine.
11. Meet in a public place. For a first date, always meet in a public place where other people are close by. You may also want to consider going out with a group of people, or a double date. As It is important to meet first at an arranged location, It is equally imperative to meet in a public place.
12. If you insist and/or agree to share the bill on the date, bring along your wallet or pocketbook and pay with cash. Never pay using a credit card as it can leave a paper trail of your home or work location.
13. Use your own transportation to your public meeting place for your first date and be sure to tell that person in a creative way others know who you are with and where. Not only does providing your own transportation give you a quick exit if the person is not who they claimed to be, it prevents them from knowing where you work and live.
14. Always, tell a friend or loved one where you are going. Be sure someone knows where you are going, whom you’ll be with and a time you’ll be calling him or her to let them know you are fine. It also does not hurt to let your date know, in a creative way, that you are obliged to call that contact to tell them of your whereabouts.
15. It is always safer to give out your cell phone number instead of your home phone number. Never give out your home phone number before or after your first date. If for some reason you could not secure a private phone number as suggested in Tip #8 before the date, inform them you will contact them the following day or email them once you have settled in for the evening.
16. Do your homework. Only sign up for dating sites or services after you have carefully read the Terms & Conditions, understand their billing and checked out their reputation. It may take an hour to review, but it will specifically state what you are authorizing the site can do about your personal information.
The tips provided may sound a little melodramatic, but the research, online users and professionals this writer has spoken with have proven otherwise. As stated above, “listen to your heart, but follow thoughtful logic”.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology in 1994 from Adler University in Chicago, Illinois. In November 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli and his colleagues established iPredator Inc. offering educational, investigation and advisory services related to cyberstalking, cyberbullying, internet predators, cybercrime & the darkside of cyberspace. In June 2013, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. launched this internet safety website, iPredator, and two blogs, Dark Psychology & Dr. Internet Safety. These sites offer online users an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services. Since 1985, Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in behavioral healthcare in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations.
iPredator Inc. is a New York State based Internet Safety Company founded in September 2011 to provide educational and advisory products & services to online users and organizations. Their areas of expertise include cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cybercrime, internet defamation, cyber terrorism, online predation, internet addiction and the new fields they are pioneering called Cybercriminal Psychology & Profiling. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., their goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from online assailants.
Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. consultants are always available, at no cost, to interact with online users and media. In addition to their professional services, Dr. Nuccitelli has authored a variety of internet safety tools, cyber attack risk assessments and diagnostic tests available to purchase as hard copy PDF files.
Although iPredator Inc. has joined a multitude of social networking sites, feel free to visit the social sites listed below they use as their information and announcement vehicles. If you have questions, feel free to call iPredator Inc. anytime in New York at (347) 871-2416 or by sending correspondence using this website’s contact page by clicking here: Contact Us Dr. Nuccitelli or an iPredator Inc. associate return all contacts within 24 hours.
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“The Information Age technocentric concept of being “connected” is a paradox of disconnection causing us to lose control of our instinctual drives for social cohesion, allegiance and selflessness. As our dependency upon Information and Communications Technology (ICT) grows, spreading throughout our collective human consciousness, the less we care for our neighbors and the more we delude ourselves into thinking that online connections are far more valuable than reality based relationships.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. (2014)
- IPREDATOR INC.
- CEO: Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
- NYS Licensed Psychologist
- New York, USA
- Ph:(347) 871-2416
- Blog I:Dark Psychology
- Blog II: Internet Safety