Meeting someone the old-fashioned way can be dangerous, but when it comes on online dating, you have to especially be careful. People have literally lost their lives after attempting to find romance on the internet.

Here are three tips to safely date online.

1) Text your friends information about your date.

It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, somebody needs to know that you’re meeting up with someone for a date, especially if you met them online. Take screenshots of their profile, send pics and collect as much information as you can about the person to give to a trusted friend. Let your buddy know the details of the date and where you will be (the first date should always be planned ahead) so they can tell authorities where you were last seen and who you were with just in case all hell breaks loose. This may seem a bit like paranoia, but the reality is that you can’t trust them. Why? Because you don’t know them! You know what they’ve written on an online dating profile. Big difference.

2) Meet in a public place for at least four dates.

Everyone puts their best foot forward in the beginning of any courtship. There are a lot of deceivers out there, and people can easily appear to be wonderful via an online profile and through text messaging. No matter how great your potential boo sounds, never go to his or her home on the first, second, third or fourth date. Yes, you can get killed even after meeting in a public place, but chances are the fourth date will grant you a peek into the person’s psyche. No matter how wonderful they are, you will get SOME kind of idea of what lies beneath their persona. Meeting in a public place for a date also affords you a very neutral location and it doesn’t give either party the upper hand.

3) Trust your instincts.

When looking for love, we tend to ignore very obvious signs that we shouldn’t obey the green stop sign. But trust your gut–always. If something is telling you that “LovaBoi69” is a creep, keep scrolling. It’s better to be overly cautious then to end up on the 9 o’clock news.

The World Wide Web allows you to access potential mates with the click of a mouse. It’s best to remember to always exercise caution when finding anything online, even love.