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With the availability of technology, many things have changed about teen dating. In more ways than one, dating has become much riskier because of the ease of meeting people online. While technology can serve as a safety net when dating, it also poses a risk to your privacy and self-esteem. Online dating can open you up to harassment and abuse. Therefore, teens must prepare to face the issues that come with online dating safely and healthily. Parents also need to learn the proper steps when their teen indulges in online dating. Luckily for you, these online dating safety tips will ensure you’re always prepared. They are the best tips for online dating that teens and parents can act on. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Tips For Teens
As teens indulge in online dating, they have a part to play in staying safe. That’s why we’ll be sharing the best tips for online dating in this section. These online dating safety tips explain how you can take responsibility for your safety and also ensure you’re creating a safe dating environment for yourself. Below are some of the things you should do when dating online.
Tip 1. Protect Your Private Information
This is a common online dating tip, and although it might seem like a no-brainer, it’s one that people forget quickly. Scammers are getting even more creative and convincing with new ways to steal your identity. That’s why it’s even more important to protect your private information when you’re dating online. Sharing personal information about yourself with your friends and families puts you and them in danger. With this information, the stranger might stalk you and discover your home. Therefore, information like bank details, full names, addresses, social security numbers, and more should always be kept private. Additionally, you should never transfer money to a stranger for any reason, even if they claim it’s an emergency. Sharing your personal information puts you and your loved ones at risk.
Tip 2. Never Share Any Private Images/Videos
The risks that come with sharing intimate images/videos are significant. That’s why it is one of the top online dating safety tips and one you shouldn’t ignore. Not only can you get into legal trouble for these actions, but you can also regret these actions in the future. There are numerous stories where someone’s private photos and videos are used as a weapon against them when the relationship ends. Therefore, when you’re indulging in online dating, you should never share explicit photos and videos. Doing this can put you at risk in so many ways, and the stranger can also utilize it to blackmail you in the future.
Tip 3. Trust Your Friends and Family
Dating can be overwhelming sometimes. You will need some level of maturity to make some smart decisions when you’re dating. Making these decisions can be difficult sometimes, which is why you should always trust your family and friends.
Your family and friends will have a clearer view and opinion of your date. Your excitement might prevent you from seeing some warning signs your friends and family see clearly. Although you can choose your dating life private, your friends and families might be able to provide you with valuable suggestions sometimes. Inform them about where you’re spending time and who you’re going out with. Take it as a warning sign when your online partner encourages you to be secretive about the relationship.
Tip 4. Report Your Location
One of the top online dating safety tips you should note is consistently reporting your location. Share your real-time location with those close to you each time you’re going on a date. This online dating tip is crucial because it makes it easier for your family and friends to reach you in emergency cases. You could also take it further by having dates in public spaces. Doing this will keep the pressures at a minimum while allowing you to have fun. Whether it’s a restaurant, sporting event, coffee shop, or other similar location, always make sure someone else is aware of where you are at that moment.
Tip 5. Don’t Be Too Passive
When dating online, you mustn’t become too passive in the relationship. Don’t provide all your information without knowing more about your date before meeting. Additionally, you must get as much say in decisions as they do. Learn to share your opinions in conversations. You also have the right to choose the date, location, and time. Pick your food and drinks on a date to let them know your opinions. Most people tend to become passive in a new relationship hoping that it makes them more attractive to their online dating partner. However, you must never lose yourself to the relationship.
Tip 6. Be Alert Even After Establishing the Relationship
When the relationship newly begins, feelings are usually intense. However, you must remain alert even after meeting several times and establishing the relationship. The tips below aren’t just important you’re first meeting your online date but are crucial at every relationship point. Always look at the bigger picture, and if something feels off, it probably is. Consider creating an emergency word you can say to your family and friends if you’re ever in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation. Also, you should always be honest with your concerns and always ensure you’re comfortable on every date.
Tips for Parents
When it comes to your teens, some online dating safety tips will help you keep them safe. Guidelines and boundaries are essential for their safety. These are the best tips for online dating because it enables you to create an environment that will keep your teen safe while providing them with the freedom to date. Below are the best online dating tips for parents.
Tip 7. Talk About Online Dating With Your Kids
The chances are that you have talked about sex and sexual assault with your teenager. However, the conversation most parents forget to have with their teen is about online dating. Most believe it is essential, but it can help your teen make better decisions when diving into the online dating world. Ensure you inform them about the pros and cons of diving into the online dating world. During this conversation, remind them of the best ways to stay safe and the risks they should expect when dating online. Also, no matter how awkward and difficult the conversation is, touch on topics like teen dating violence.
Tip 8. Set Dating Rules
Most parents want their teens to have all the freedom they want, but that’s not always safe or a healthy option. Establishing ground rules as they start dating online will help them stay safe during the process. One of the top online dating safety tips to practice is setting dating rules. Think of your expectations and inform your child about them to set the ideal dating rules. An example is that they’re not allowed to spend the night at the partner’s place.
Some parents insist that visiting the partner’s home only takes place when there’s a parent present. You should also ensure they inform you when plans change or their location change. Age ranges are also a good option for dating rules. Ensure you work with them as you set these rules to ensure lasting solutions that work for both sides.
Tip 9. Know Where Your Kids Are Located
Knowing where your teen will be is imperative when they start dating online. It is a top online dating tip that no parent should ignore. You need to be informed about where they would be, what they would be doing, and who they will be with. Having this information ensures you can get to them in cases of emergencies. Although technology makes this possible, it is not foolproof. Sometimes, there is limited service or dead phone batteries. Knowing their location helps to keep you assured of where they will be. Ensure your teen always provides you with an address and a name, especially if they will be in someone’s home and not a public location.
Tip 10. Follow Up After Dating
Following up after dating doesn’t mean having a conversation with your teen immediately after walking through the door. Doing this can put them on the defensive and cause them to withhold some information. You should take some time after the date before you follow up. Ask them for details about how the date went and note their response. When your teenager is sharing this information, ensure you listen carefully and do not interrupt. If they’re reluctant to share this information, don’t worry so much about it. Some teens prefer to be more private; they’ll open up when they’re ready. Always end the conversation by inquiring if they have concerns they want to share and if they will be going out again.
Tip 11. Trust Your Child’s Friends
Although you’re busy, one of the best tips for online dating is trusting your child’s friends. This requires taking an active interest in your teen’s life. Learn more about their daily lives and get to know their friends. Building a relationship with their friends can make navigating your parenting role easier. Your teen’s friends can also provide you with information your teen might not be willing to share directly with you. They might also provide you with opinions about your teen’s date that you didn’t consider. Therefore, invite your teen’s friends into your home and get to know them on a deeper level. A closer relationship with your teen’s friends can be pretty beneficial to you in the long run.
Tip 12. Be the Consultant
Amongst the best tips for online dating is the need to take on the role of a consultant and offer professional advice when they ask for suggestions. Although it looks like you’re invincible in your teen’s life once they start dating, you can always play the role of a consultant for them. Ensure you provide your teen with reasonable opinions when they ask for suggestions; it will help them build trust in you and come back for more views. Additionally, you should note that your teen watches the things you do and say. Therefore, the best way to lead is by example; act as you want them to in similar situations.
One of the best online dating safety tips we cannot ignore is using a parental control app. This allows you to watch your teen’s actions at all times closely. One of the best parental supervision apps you can find is Wondershare FamiSafe. This app allows you to protect your teen while they’re dating online without violating their privacy. Wondershare FamiSafe has many features and is relatively easy to set up with these three steps.
Step 1. Install FamiSafe
The first step users should take is installing FamiSafe on your device and that of your kid. While you can install it on your iOS or Android device, you can use FamiSafe on your kid’s Chromebook, Pad, iOS. Android and several other devices. You can either download it on the official website or the Google Play/App Store.
Step 2. Register on FamiSafe
Once you successfully install the app, the next step is to launch the app on your device. It will direct users to the signup page to sign up using your email address or third-party accounts like Facebook, Google Account, and Apple ID. After setting up your account, you can simply click start to add your kid’s device.
A pairing code will show up once you click twice for you to use in tying up your kid’s device. After downloading and launching on your kid’s device, log into your account and click start. Tap’ pair with code’ to connect your kid’s device and enter the digits available on the parent’s phone. Once you enter this, press ‘start’ to begin using the app.
Step 3. Set Up Rules
Now, you can start setting up rules on FamiSafe for your teens. However, you have to first grant accessibility access, notification access, app supervision, Location access, Contact list access, and more. Once you grant all the necessary access, you can start setting up rules on Wondershare FamiSafe.
You can explore many features once you set FamiSafe up on your device and that of your teen. These features help ensure your teen stays safe when they begin dating online. Some of these features include:
- Activity Report: With activity reports, parents can figure out how often and when their teens use each app and how long they stay on the apps.
- Browser History: You can also use FamiSafe to view your teen’s browser history. You can set some visited websites as exceptions to block.
- Real-Time Location: It will inform you about the current location of your kids.
- Location History: You can also Wondershare FamiSafe to access the location history of your teen, up to 30 days ago.
- Explicit Content Detection: FamiSafe allows you to monitor nine social media platforms and if there is explicit content to review.
When your teen begins to date, it can be nerve-wracking. It is even more difficult when they’re seeing someone online. There’s a need to remain safe in such situations to avoid the dangers attached to online dating. With Wondershare FamiSafe, parents can take it a step further to keep their teens safe. There’s a need to keep up communication with your teen and also ensure you set ground rules. Teens can also utilize the best tips for online dating, like don’t be passive, report your location, trust your family and friends, and many more. However, note that teen dating is a natural process, and there’s a need to remain calm through it all.