Online dating is extremely popular, but there are safety concerns to keep in mind. And because members of the LGBTQ community can be the victims of cyberbullying, crime, and hate, it’s a good idea to take some extra steps to help ensure you know exactly who you’re talking to, and to stay safe if you ever meet a match in person for the first time.

There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t feel confident enough to look for love online. Just consider implementing the following online dating safety tips so you can meet your ideal match without fear.

Run Background Checks

One of the first things that you can do when you start talking to someone in an online dating app is run a background check on them. That way, you can immediately determine if they truly are who they say they are. Plus, a background check can also reveal important information that can help you steer clear of problems.

For instance, when you use Nuwber to look up information about someone, you can access things like their address and phone number, as well as their property ownership, any police records they might have, any lawsuits they have been involved in, and more. Having this info about a person really early on can be a great way to avoid wasting your time with someone who is dishonest or downright dangerous.

Meet in a Public Place

If you’ve run a background check on a person, and everything looks good, it’s still a good idea to continue getting to know them in a virtual space for a while before meeting them in person. That way, you can have a lot of conversations over the phone, via text messaging, and on video chats, and you can learn about the person’s likes, dislikes, past, and future aspirations.

Once you are ready to meet in person, keep this online dating safety tip in mind: it is best to meet in a public place. Choose a location where you know there will be plenty of people around you, and one where there will be plenty of light as well, especially if you are meeting in the evening or at night.

What happens if you meet in person, but you end up having a weird or negative feeling? Well, in that case, it’s best to trust your instincts and just make up an excuse to leave.

Let People Know That You’re Dating Online

There is absolutely no need to feel ashamed about dating online or meeting someone that you’ve found on the internet. A lot of people do it every single day!

Telling people that you are using a dating app, and letting them know when you’ll be meeting a potential match in person, is wise. Let them know where you will be, and when. And let them also know about the person that you are meeting. That way, if something happens to you, and they don’t hear from you after a certain amount of time, they will know to get help and start looking for you to be sure you are safe.

Overall, meeting someone from the internet can be exciting, and the person you meet online might be the one that you have been looking for. Implementing some easy strategies to help ensure your safety at every step can give you more confidence and peace of mind.