Online dating has quickly become one of the best ways to meet new people online, find suitable dates, and maybe even meet your future life partner. Tinder is one of the most popular and most-used online dating apps around the world because it’s simple and easy, and there is certainly no shortage of choices when it comes to getting suitable matches.

However, one of the downsides to Tinder dating is that you never really know who you are talking to. While it’s nice to assume that everybody is genuine and trustworthy, this is not always the case. If you’re meeting somebody from Tinder for the first time, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself until you know and trust them better – doing so could save your life.

Rules to Follow When Dating on Tinder

Run a Background Check:

The idea of running a background check on your new date might seem quite excessive, but it can be a very sensible move. Background checking your date before meeting up with them gives you the chance to verify that they are actually who they say that they are: that includes making sure that they don’t have a dodgy past that you aren’t aware of. Nuwber is one example of a tool you can use to verify somebody’s identity and check if they have any criminal records that might make you change your mind about whether or not to go on a date with them.

Take Your Time:

Don’t just rush into going on a date with somebody from Tinder. Talking to them in the app, speaking on the phone, and adding them on social media can be a good way to find out more about them, including whether or not it’s a good idea to meet up. If you decide to add somebody from Tinder on social media before meeting them, run through your profiles first and make sure that you haven’t shared anything that you would not want them to know, such as where you live or work.

Meet in Public:

The safest thing to do when meeting up with a Tinder date is to arrange the first date at a public place. This gives you peace of mind, as you are around other people and can quickly get away if things go awry. Meeting in a public place is usually the best thing to do for the first few dates – at least while you get a feel for the person and before taking things to the next level. A restaurant is the ideal setting for a first Tinder date, since you can easily talk and learn more about each other in a safe environment.

Let Somebody Know:

Having somebody who knows where you are and who you are with will provide you with even more peace of mind when going on a  Tinder date. Let a trusted friend or relative know that you have a Tinder date planned, who it’s with, and where you are planning to have the date. You might even want to consider setting up an app like Find My iPhone so that your friend can check on where you are and make sure that you are in the location you are supposed to be. While it’s unlikely that anything dangerous will happen, it’s always best to be prepared just in case, and a tracker app can alert trusted people to your location if you end up somewhere you are not meant to be.

Overall, these four rules are just some ways to be safe while still enjoying the benefits of online dating. So whether you’re on Tinder or any other dating app, be mindful of who you are meeting and the context under which you’re meeting them. When in doubt with meeting someone new, always exercise a reasonable degree of caution.