MINNESOTA — Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and singles everywhere who are lamenting their singleness will likely turn to online dating and apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Bumble in an attempt to find a special someone. But exactly how safe is online dating in Minnesota these days?
According to a new report by HighSpeedInternet.com, a private firm that compares internet service providers for consumers, Minnesota is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the safety for online dating. When analyzing all 50 states, Minnesota ranked 25th overall.
To determine how safe it is to date online, researchers looked at several factors to gauge the risk in each state, including cybercrime rates and sexually transmitted disease cases. Some experts blame the spike in sexually transmitted diseases on online dating sites, which enable easy hookups that spread infections faster.
According to the report, the record-low rates for cybercrimes and sexually transmitted diseases in Maine make it the safest state in which to date online.
Here are the top 10 safest states for online dating, according to HighSpeedInternet.com:
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Of the riskier states, Alaska has more cybercrime victims and more people with STDs than any other state, earning it the rank of most dangerous state for online dating. This is the third year in a row Alaska was ranked last in the report.
Starting with the most dangerous state, here are the 10 states where online dating is rated as the riskiest:
- North Carolina
- New York
According to one Stanford survey, nearly 40 percent of heterosexual couples find love through online dating. Since 1940, traditional ways of meeting partners — through family, in church and in the neighborhood — have all been in decline.
There are many ways to stay safe when dating online. Bustle offers 11 tips from experts to do exactly this:
- Google yourself: Find out what information is out there about you.
- Never give out your full name until after the first date.
- Get a Google Voice number. Don’t give out your real phone number.
- Don’t reveal where you work.
- Meet in a public place.
- Drive yourself to a date or take public transportation.
- Stay sober.
- Don’t use Facebook or Instagram photos on your dating profile.
- Tell a friend specific details about your date.
- Consider carrying pepper spray.
- Don’t let anyone walk you home on your first date.