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12 ways to protect yourself while dating online

We have all heard of Tinder Swindler and, closer to home, the Twitter Swindler.

A Twitter user known as Emmanuel Gift Masinde, who was exposed mid-last year after he allegedly conned seven women off their hard-earned cash, was nabbed on December 22, 2022, and taken to the Industrial Area Prison.

Nairobi News has established that the man, now christened Twitter Swindler, allegedly conned a Nairobi love-struck woman of Sh3.5 million.

Anyhow, Love is beautiful, and we all want to love or be loved. The search for that special someone went digital ages ago, which is now the norm.

Also read: Mubaba, and other types of Nairobi men

Here are a few tips for protecting yourself when online dating:

Use a reputable dating app or website: Be sure to use a reputable dating app or website, as this can help reduce the risk of encountering fraudulent or inappropriate individuals.

Use a unique username and password: It’s important to use a unique username and password for your dating account and any other online accounts you have. This can help protect your personal information and reduce identity theft risk.

Keep your personal information private: When creating your profile, be careful not to include too much personal information, such as your full name, home address, or phone number. It’s also a good idea to keep your social media accounts private or separate from your dating accounts.

Meet in public: When meeting someone for the first time, it’s a good idea to meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop or restaurant. This can help ensure your safety and give you an easy exit if you feel uncomfortable.

Trust your instincts: If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and take a step back. It’s important to prioritize your own safety and well-being when online dating.

Also read: REVEALED: Murdered LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba shared public love messages with alleged lover

Tell a friend: It’s a good idea to tell a friend or family member where you’ll be and whom you’ll meet when you go on a date. This can help ensure that someone knows your whereabouts in an emergency.

Use a Google Voice: Consider using a Google Voice number when communicating with someone you met online. This can help protect your personal phone number and reduce the risk of unwanted calls or texts.

Verify their identity: It’s a good idea to verify the identity of the person you’re communicating with, especially if you’re planning to meet in person. You can do this by asking for a photo ID or by doing a reverse image search of their profile picture.

Don’t send money: Be wary of anyone who asks for money or financial assistance, as this is often a red flag for a scam. Never send money to someone you meet online, no matter how convincing their story may seem.

Be cautious with personal details: Be careful about sharing personal details, such as your home address or place of work, until you feel comfortable with the person you’re communicating with.

Also read: NN Lifestyle: Let go of people who aren’t ready to love you – hard truths about life

Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN can help protect your online activity and keep your personal information private when using dating apps or websites.

Consider getting a background check: If you’re planning to meet someone in person and want to ensure their identity and background, consider getting a background check. This can help provide peace of mind and ensure your safety.

What to do if your online dating up ex- has turned to a stalker

If you are being stalked online, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and seek help. Here are some steps you can take:

Document the stalking: Keep a record of the stalking behavior, including the dates and times it occurs, any threats or harassment, and any evidence, such as messages or posts. This can be helpful if you need to report the stalking to law enforcement or seek a restraining order.

Also read: Love Triangle? Mystery of dead teacher, nurse in hiding and Nyamira MCA

Block the stalker: If possible, block the stalker from your social media accounts and email accounts. This can help prevent them from contacting you and may make it easier for you to feel safe online.

Change your privacy settings: Review your privacy settings on your social media accounts and consider making them more strict. This can help prevent the stalker from seeing your posts and activity.

Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about what’s happening. It’s important to have support and someone to talk to about your experiences.

Report the stalking: If you feel threatened or are in danger, consider contacting law enforcement or a domestic violence hotline for help. You can also report the stalking to the social media platform or website where it is occurring.

Consider getting a restraining order: If the stalking is severe and you are in fear for your safety, you may be able to obtain a restraining order to legally prohibit the stalker from contacting you or coming near you.

Also read: WATCH – Love is sweet: Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriquez gifts him Sh42 million car