Safety Tips

When getting to know someone new – online or in person – there are several precautions that should be taken. Some tips require the help of technology; others are just common sense. Either way, you can make sure your approach to online dating is proactive by following these tips.

Be Cautious Initially

  • Use only your first name on your profile; don't include your last name on your profile and refrain from using a provactive display name.
  • Create and use an email address separate from your work and personal addresses.  Use only that designated email address as you are getting to know someone, until you have established a level of trust.
  • Use the features of YourCauseOrMine to communicate with other members until you feel comfortable with sharing other ways of being in contact with you.
  • Use the internet to check a person out before agreeing to meet in person.
  • Become comfortable with a member online before meeting in person.
  • Try to speak on the phone with the other member before meeting in person.
  • Block any member that makes you feel uncomfortable.  Report any member that you believe is harassing you.

Keep Your Private Information Private

  • Never share your personal information (i.e. social security number, home address, or passwords) or financial information (i.e. baking accounts or credit card numbers) with anyone you don't know.
  • Be guarded when using a public computer and be sure to deliberately log off when you're finished.
  • Stay on first name basis until you are ready to share your full name.

Don't Get Scammed

  • Don't wire money to anyone you meet online, no matter how heart-wrenching the story or how urgent the emergency, especially if that someone wants you to keep the transfer a secret.
  • Report suspicious behavior to us immediately. If you encounter the same person (especially a pushy, needy person) with multiple accounts and different names, that's a red flag.  Let us know.
  • If your discussions with a member quickly turn to a personal need for financial help, discontinue interactions and contact us.
  • Learn how to protect your self from internet dating and travel scams.

Put Thought into the Location

  • Make sure the first meeting is in a populated, public place, preferably at a cause-related event featured on the site.
  • Choose a low-pressure environment, where there will be plenty of opportunity for conversation and interaction, an activity that will generate a shared experience and that creates its own ice-breakers.
  • If choosing a restaurant for the first meeting, make sure the atmosphere is interesting yet non-intimate, and ensure any dietary restrictions are addressed ahead of time.

Use the Buddy System

  • Tell a friend where you are going, who you are going with, how long you plan to be there, and when you plan to be back. 
  • Drop a pin on your smart phone map when you arrive at your destinations and share it with your friend.
  • Check in with a friend by sending a text during the first meeting (but not during conversation, of course).

Remember Your Mother's Advice

  • Stay sober.  A drunken first date leaves a lousy impression and doesn't allow you show the real you.  Also, you should stay alert and keep your faculties about yourself.
  • Use your good judgment; end the date with intrigue and not regret.
  • Drive yourself to and from the first meeting.
  • Carry enough money to pay your own way and get home if necessary, just in case.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave home.
  • Don't leave your personal items or your drink unattended.
  • If your evening plans change, let a friend know with a text or call. 
  • If your date tries to pressure you to extend the date or go someplace private and you are not so inclined, end the date.
  • Do not show your date your home unless and until you are comfortable with the person knowing where you live.
  • Trust your instincts; If he or she seems too good to be true, you're probably right.  Take the time to learn about your date.

Bottom line, take it slow. Rome wasn't built in a day.  If your date seems offended, insulted, or hurt by any of your precautions, remind him or her that you two are just getting to know each other, and trust takes time.  If that explanation is not reassuring enough for your date and you are made to feel defensive, kindly end the date.

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