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Dating allows you to get to know someone better, but in the initial stages of dating, it's impossible to know exactly what type of person you're dealing with.

For this reason, it's important to take some precautions to make sure dating is an enjoyable -and safe- activity.

There are steps you can take to increase the odds of safe dating encounters, especially before heading out for a first date with someone.

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Instead, a simple Google search can yield impressive results.

The Huffington Post suggests that a Google search can help you decipher whether your date is the person he or she portrays to you.

Pay attention to social media results too, and if you and your date have friends in common, reach out to those friends and ask a few questions.

This should help you decide if there are red flags that should cause you to pause before your date.

If you are meeting with your date for the first time, especially if you have never met your date in person before, tell a friend where you are going and at what time.

Your Tango suggests that letting your friends know where you are going on your date is essential to dating safety.

It's not a bad idea to have a friend quietly eating at the same restaurant or watching the same movie, not interrupting your date but keeping an eye on the situation.

One of the most important tips for staying safe while dating is to trust your instincts, according to the University of Birmingham Police Department.

If you get a weird feeling while on the date, or even when chatting with your prospective date online or over the phone, it's likely a good sign that you shouldn't meet up.

Although having your date pick you up at your home may seem like the most chivalrous route, allowing someone else to control your ability to go home can put you at a disadvantage.

That's why She Knows advises both women and men to stay in charge of their own transportation when first getting to know someone else.