A security review company that released a study ranking Buffalo as the most dangerous city in the nation for online dating has revised its numbers after inquiries were made. The revision improved Buffalo's overall ranking, although it remains in the bottom 25% of cities when it comes to online dating safety.
A community outreach strategist for SafeWise acknowledged several days after the study was released that researchers inadvertently over-counted the city’s rate of sexually-transmitted diseases.
“There was a miscount when adding up the STD numbers for Buffalo,” explained Sage Singleton.
But even with the revisions, Buffalo ranks 13 out of 56 cities. Riverside, CA and Knoxville, TN are listed as the most dangerous cities for online dating.
Data compiled by SafeWise and HighSpeedInternet.com, ranked cities based on two key risk factors that researchers said are relevant to people using online dating services. The study examined STD figures, violent crime data from the FBI and Census figures for metropolitan
SafeWise determined that the safest place for singles to date online is San Antonio, Texas, followed by New York City and Portland, Oregon.
However, Singleton advised everyone to exercise caution when meeting strangers via the internet—regardless of the location.
“We always say ‘If something feels wrong in your gut, listen to it’,” Singleton said. “And always have a safety plan when you’re going on a date with someone new. Let someone know where you’re going -- when you expect to be home. So if something does go wrong, other people are aware of your whereabouts.”
Online has been growing in popularity, according to researchers at SafeWise and HighSpeedInternet.net
“Even in the last decade, online dating at first was viewed as a last resort for people. But now it is becoming the norm,” Singleton told WBFO. “So I think with more and more people online dating, that just increases the pool of people potentially with STDs and violent tendencies.”