To Be Real or Not To BeThis is probably the most argued topic online: to be real or not to be real? Why? Because online privacy has not been taken seriously time and time again. There are numerous accounts in which people get their identities stolen. Plus, there are a lot of bad people out there who only use their expertise in technology as a mean to steal, cheat, and lie. So, why should you, as an ordinary user of the internet looking for love, be subjected to this treatment? In reality, this is a question even we cannot answer for you. But, really, you’d better be safe than sorry in this case.

The cases of identity theft have increased as technology has become so much more advanced. In the United States, cybercrime in just the section of identity theft has seen an increase of 47 percent in the span of three years. That’s a big percentage. And, this multi-billion fraud involves at least $16 billion of money altogether in the year 2015. If you can take a look at the graph below, you’ll see the immediate increase in fraud every year. And, believe it or not, 2016 is much worse.


Use your real name, but not really

Your first name is your identity that sets you from the rest of the people you know. Even if you have the same name as another person, your first name is what identifies you while your last name identifies your family ties. So, if you’re wondering whether or not you should use your real first and last name on a dating site, it’s safe to just use the first name. At least, later on, when you find the lady you trust online, you can just easily say that you were protecting yourself. Most people would understand this rather than have a new identity altogether just to fit the name.

So, all in all, should a person, like yourself, looking for love online be more cautious about using your real name? Definitely! But, won’t this seem like the lie that most dating blogs try to tell us or me at least not to do? Again, that’s true. Some sites, however, show you how to deal with cases like these. The ongoing dilemma of whether or not you’re going to use your real name is a tough one, especially amidst all the cybercrime. However, what’s usually suggested is that your real first name should be used.


Cybercrime, online dating, and security

When dating online, we’ve mentioned that there are risks. In this case, the most prominent being scammed. But the worse being is having your identity stolen. So, what are the online dating sites to keep you secure? Most websites now actually allow its users to create a nickname. While some are still under the traditional rule of putting up real full names, they also changed the way you would sign up to their site. They now have a verification process, and sometimes they also have vetting practices just to make sure that your profile and everyone else’s profiles are legitimate. Knowing this, it’s really important that you check the terms and conditions of most of the sites that you’re signing up to.

Most of the dating sites require payment because that’s how they make money and make sure that you’re being protected. But, there are some really nice sites that top-notch everything. Sometimes, it’s easy to get fooled by those sites. If you read their terms and conditions, though, you’ll see that you’re allowing them to share your information with third party sites. It’s scary, but that’s why you have to know how to protect yourself.

Here are some of the most common things that you should prevent sharing as much as possible, especially when dating online.

  • Real Full Name: As mentioned earlier, your first name at the beginning will be good enough. If it’s possible to opt out your last name being shown publicly on your profile, the better.
  • Real Address: I think this is self-explanatory. The only reason you should give your address is when you’re getting something shipped to your house. Or, at the least, when it’s needed for your credit card information. If you’re wondering whether you should share your address with a lady you met online, it’s best not at the beginning. Why? It’s because most of the house in the US is listed online. Just put the address, and you’ll see how the house looks and where it’s located. If she’ll visit you, you can pick her up from the airport, and bring her to your house.
  • Password: Although this shouldn’t even be put on the list, never jot your password anywhere, and don’t use the commonly hackable “1234567,” “password,” “qwerty,” or even your birthday as your password. Basically, never make your passwords easy enough to guess. You can find more tips on how to make sure your account is secure online.
  • Personal email address: You have the choice to use your personal email address, but to be safe, make a separate email for use only on online dating sites. It helps you compartmentalize between life and online dating. Plus, it’ll also help lessen the junk you could receive every now and then.
  • Financial information: This includes account numbers, credit cards, loans, and other possible information that shouldn’t be public. When making purchases online, make sure that the web address has a visible “https” to make sure that it’s safe.

Overall, you can never be too careful with the use of the internet. There are so many things that can happen. But, if you’re cautious enough, you’ll be able to enjoy more without getting a case of stolen identity. Plus, this will also lessen your chances of getting scammed by websites or “ladies” that you’re talking to. When you’re in doubt, don’t forget to read the terms and conditions of the site. If you’re too lazy to read it, there are sites that tell you whether or not a site is a scam. There are online tools to help ensure your safety as well. Beyond all these, though, don’t forget to enjoy the experience of finding your love online.