Is Teen Online Dating Ever Safe?
Any type of dating is potentially dangerous, especially online dating and even more particularly, teen online dating. There are many predators out there in the online world just waiting to prey on unsuspecting young people, and it is important for parents and teens alike to understand the potential dangers that await them online. It is very easy for people to fall for someone that they have been chatting with online, and the same can be true for teen online dating. There are a lot of online teen dating sites on the Internet; some are free and others require payment, but there are still a lot of choices out there and finding a reputable site can be overwhelming.
It is important that a person understands that there is no guarantee that the individual he or she is regularly chatting with is telling the complete truth. There are adults on most of these sites that pretend to be teens in order to take advantage of a naïve teenager. Although there are many genuine teens looking for partners on these sites, there is still no way to know if they are really who they claim to be, and extreme caution must be taken, especially if an actual date is planned. The picture on someone's profile is not necessarily up to date or may not even be of the right person. It is very easy to give misleading information online and people need to remember that the only proof of a person's appearance will occur once the couple meets face to face.
Basic Tips on Protecting Teens When Dating Online
Parents need to make a conscious effort to protect their teens that are using the Internet. The parents need to make the teens aware of the dangers in talking to strangers online, and they should make sure that they know where their teen is at all times. It is too easy for a teenager to meet someone on an online teen dating site and agree to meet, only to find that the person is not as young or good looking as he claimed. Parents should be aware of the people that their teens come in contact with regularly online, especially if the teen begins dating online. Sometimes it can be hard to prevent a teenager from falling for someone online, but steps can be taken to guarantee the safety of the teen. If the potential partner is genuine, he will not be concerned if the parents drop their teen off at the meeting place and check the stranger out.
Teens should always have phone contact before meeting up with anyone. If they really want to meet up with someone from a teen online dating site, the parents should know the location and preferably attend the first meeting with their son or daughter.
Before the meeting, the teen should make telephone contact with the person and never give out their home address. After the meeting, the teen should be collected to make sure he or she is not followed home. Your teen should never be alone with the stranger, even if the person appears to have been telling the truth about themselves. In cases of harassment or stalking, there are organizations that are designed to help with specific cases like this. If a parent is suspicious of the person who is meeting up with their teen, then they should definitely contact the police and keep a close eye on their teen in future.