Meeting in a public place seems intuitive – if there are other people around, there will be someone to help you out if need be.

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“Do a Google image search to see if his or her profile is using pictures pulled from somewhere or someone other than him or herself.” This is the first step, but if you are going to meet up with this person, it’s sometimes a good idea to dig a little deeper (see tip number five).

If the person you’re talking to starts to make you feel uncomfortable, don’t try to be polite.

Among independent sites, Stewart cites Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, How About We, e Harmony, Zoosk and Plenty Of Fish as being “large enough to have good policies in place.” Although these larger websites don’t necessarily have more trustworthy users, you can at least rely on the sites to keep your information safe.

“Any time you're giving out personal information or credit card information, you want to be able to trust the site/company,” Stewart says.

Playing detective might feel excessive, but you’re always better safe than sorry.

Nina*, a senior at Duke University, took all the precautions she could before meeting up with people from dating sites.

Additionally, it is “best to not participate in any activity where you’re not able to leave,” she says.

So stick to coffee shops, restaurants and movie theaters – at least for the first few dates.

“I knew that I needed to be particularly careful when meeting up with these guys,” Nina says.