The Internet is more than 20 years old for most people, but it still has some elements of the Wild West built into it. There’s still a lot of danger that a person can get into if they’re unprepared, or if they meet the wrong person, and that person gets ahold of some necessary information. People need to protect themselves because there are a ton of different dangers.
Danger can come in a wide variety of different forms. It can be physical; it can become a problem for anything that you may own, and it can even be a matter of social status impact. Protecting yourself comes in a lot of forms. You can balance it with being out there enough to really meet someone.
Your health is essential, and one threat to your health is allowing a person you don’t know to know too much about you. They could become obsessed, and they could not understand that there are boundaries. This could lead to significant physical danger on your part, as they might end up harming you. Being able to gauge their body language and vocal tonality for signs of mental instability is vital early on, as you’re feeling each other out.
There’s also the danger to your property. Anything that a person can reach can be physically damaged. Since it can be hard to prove who did what, let alone hold the person financially liable, these kinds of crimes often simply involve draining money from your pockets.
Finally, there’s such a thing as social impact. If you have a profession, this profession can come under serious threat if a person begins to make accusations about you. Imagine a jilted lover coming into a fast food place and stirring up the drama with an employee. While that employee could always find another low-paying and menial job, your prospects may not be as good if you have a professional position that a stalker from the Internet puts in jeopardy.
Naturally, there are a lot of things you can do to protect yourself. The first step is to open yourself up to a large number of different kinds of people. By being open to a lot of possibilities, you can avoid merely cloistering up with the “same old, same old.” It’s far too easy to get comfortable with one group, and then feel surprised when that group has just as many crazies in it as any other group does.
You can also engage with a lot of free dating sites that have plenty of people on them. In far too many cases, an online dating site will become a sort of community unto itself, and it’s possible to have your social reputation within a site get damaged by a destructive force like a person you turned down. By being a part of many different sites, you can mainly avoid the politicking and internal stalking that a single site can host