Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tips: Safe and fun ways to meet people online

This is a post I love from The Kim Komando Show 5/8/2013–a weekend talk radio program about all things digital! She gives tons of free tips, downloads, software, newsletters, advice and more about the home electronics, iPods, digital cameras, photography, TVs, online security, gadgets etc. 


microphone - red backgroundI also did a Crime Prevention 101 radio show on safe dating (online or not) you might also want to listen to!


Q. Hello, Kim! My husband passed away a few years ago. When he was alive, we always said the other should try to meet new people when one of us passed, and I think I’m finally ready to do that. My son met his wife online, so I thought that would be a good place to start, since I don’t get out much these days. Do you have any ideas to help me get started? -Nancy, from Kingman, AZ, listens to my national radio show on KAAA 1230 AM.

Kim Kommando’s Anser. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Nancy. It takes a lot of courage to move on from the loss of a loved one, so I’ll try to get you headed in the right direction.

In the last decade, online dating has become a legitimate, and often effective, way to meet potential romantic partners. If you find you’re still not quite ready to take that step, there are sites that can also help you find friends with similar interests.

Unfortunately, there are literally thousands of different sites that can help you meet people with interests that match yours. That can make things feel a little overwhelming.

Then there are the potential safety issues that come with meeting new people. So, you’ll need to plan carefully.

However, if you have the right frame of mind and know the best tools, you can find success. You’ll have plenty of fun and may even meet another man you want to spend the rest of your life with.

These tips are great for anyone looking for a match online, so don’t be afraid to share them!

To start, you’ll have to choose between paid and free dating sites. Here are some of the best free dating sites to get you started.

Remember, just because someone is on a paid site doesn’t mean they take things more seriously than someone on a free site. Review a few different sites before you settle on one.

Sometimes, the best way to find a match, or just a few friends, is at an event around a topic you both like. Here are some apps that help you find fun local events and meetings to attend. Most of these apps also have websites if you don’t have a smartphone.

Once you’ve picked your site, or sites, of choice, it’s time to make your profile. My first tip is to not give away any sensitive information. Use a second email and a fake phone number – or no number at all. Don’t give out your full name or address, either.

When you’ve finished putting in your basic information, you’ll probably have the option to write a detailed profile. Be brief but informative when you do this. Give people enough information to strike up a conversation with you, but try to keep it to a few paragraphs.

Keep your profile positive and don’t be afraid to add some character to your writing. This isn’t a job resume, after all. But, as always, make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.

It’s likely your profile picture will be the first thing people see. Here are a few tips to make your profile picture really stand out. For your pictures in general, make sure they’re recent and show you doing things you love to do. Just be sure there isn’t any identifying information in the photo image or in the file itself. Learn how to remove sensitive information embedded in photos.

Now that your profile is complete, it’s time to start making some matches. Some sites give you suggestions of compatible people based on shared interests, and most offer a search function. These both make it easy to find plenty of potential dates.

Just don’t fall into the trap of being too specific in selecting your matches. A few shared interests are fine, but trying to find an exact match could weed out a lot of great people.

Most sites offer a way to send messages or IMs to other users. Don’t be afraid to send messages to multiple people at once. Keep these short but interesting as well. Focus on one or two things you like about the person’s profile as conversation starters.

After you’ve established a solid connection with someone, you might want to discuss an in-person meeting. There are no hard and fast rules on how soon you have to meet, so don’t feel like you have to rush into anything you aren’t comfortable with.

Also, once online dating goes to the real world, you have to start thinking about safety.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the person’s real name so you can do a quick online background check on them. This helps you weed out the potential “sweetheart” scammers I talk about in this tip, or just your garden-variety nutjobs.

Pick a public place for your meeting, like a popular restaurant or coffee shop. Tell a friend or close family member where you’re going and a few details about your date. Take your own transportation so you can decide when to leave.

If the first date doesn’t go well, don’t give up. Keep trusting your instincts and stay positive. You’ll find the right person for you in no time.

If you find that you click with the person … well … I trust you can take it from there.

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