If you prefer to keep your personal life private, you might want to keep your online dating activity anonymous. With a little preparation and planning, you can create an online dating profile that is completely unknown to your friends, family and colleagues.
Step 1: Create a new, anonymous email address.
Most online dating websites will require an email address, and you can use a second email address to keep dating site notifications confidential. A number of email providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo allow you to create a new email address for free.
Use a different screen name and password for these accounts. Doing so will reduce the likelihood that someone who knows you well will discover or access your new email account.
Step 2: Rent a Post Office Box.
Some dating websites will sell your information to third-party vendors, some of which might send you physical mail. You can ensure people at your home do not see these mailings by having them sent to a PO Box.
Step 3: Get a second phone number.
Some online dating sites require a telephone number at signup. In addition, you will likely want to provide potential dates with a number for texting and calls. You can pick up an inexpensive prepaid mobile phone at many convenience stores, drug stores and chain discount stores.
If you don’t want to pay for a new mobile phone, you can sign up for a low-cost or free telephone number that rings to your existing smart phone. Online services like Google Voice and Line2 offer these services and corresponding smart phone apps.
Step 4: Obtain a pre-paid debit card.
You can find prepaid debit cards from a variety of vendors at local convenience stores, drug stores and other outlets. These cards let you load money in cash at the point of sale, then access the funds much like a traditional debit card. Using a pre-paid debit card to pay for your online dating activity will reduce the likelihood that anyone will discover unexpected charges on your existing credit and debit accounts.
Some prepaid cards charge a fee for loading funds. Loading the card with a large amount will help minimize fees while also reducing the number of times you must visit the store and reload the card.
Some prepaid card providers will send you confirmations, statements and other information in the mail. Use your PO Box to keep these communications confidential.
Step 5: Sign up for online dating.
Visit one or more online dating sites. Complete the registration process using your new email address, PO Box and confidential phone number.