Help

Tips

There are instructions within the app to guide you as you use the app and become familiar with its features. There are also the following tips and suggestions for staying safe.

  • Congratulations on your upcoming date! It’s important to be cautious when meeting a stranger. Don’t reveal your address until you’re certain you’ve cleared him of predatorial tendencies. It can take many hours for any red flags to arise. Ensure your social media is set to private, as the encoded information in photos can include location.

 

  • It’s really important to do some due diligence up front. Carefully ask for his full name, phone number and suburb in order to do some googling. Check to see if someone has posted any warnings about him and try to find him on social media. Check sites like www.womansavers.com for any warnings about him. Ask him where he works and see if you can verify this through LinkedIn. Have a video call with him before the date – you can start with a phone call and then suggest Facetime.

 

  • On the first date, we recommend you meet for coffee (so you can make a quick exit), during the day. It’s remarkable how much soft evening light hides – someone can look much older in the harsh light of day! So, this might be important for detecting whether he’s lying about his age.

 

  • It’s very important to update the date details if your plans change. We’ll be sending you important reminders before the date, so if you bring the date forward and don’t change it in the app, you might miss the reminders.

Help Pages

On the Suitor Summary page and Emergency page, you can tap the ‘Information’ icon to access the dedicated help screens.

Adding a Suitor

When you run the app for the first time, you will be asked to add a suitor. Follow the steps below to proceed:

Step 1: Select your suitor’s gender.

Step 2: Enter your suitor’s name.

If you have a date scheduled already with your new suitor, you can add the details here, or tap ‘Skip’ to do it later when you have all the information.

Editing or Deleting a Suitor

You may edit, delete, or deactivate a suitor from the main menu or from the Suitor Summary page by tapping on the suitor edit icon. You can also add a suitor here.

You are encouraged to enter as much detail as you can regarding your suitor’s physical description as this will be sent to your allies in case of emergency.

If you delete a suitor, you will lose all related journal entries, warnings, and answers.

Deactivating a suitor will delete future reminders for this suitor.

Adding a Date

To keep you safe all throughout the date, it is important to enter the details such as the date and venue.

You can access this feature by tapping the menu icon in the Suitor Summary page or by tapping on the Review Dates button.

The app will prompt you to keep the date details updated to make sure you do not miss important reminders and safety precautions.

Editing or Canceling a Date

To keep the app updated for any changes to your date, you can edit or cancel a date from the Suitor Summary page after tapping the Review Dates button, or from the main menu.

You can enter the street address and your suitor’s car details in this page. You may see a notification before your date asking you to enter the street address of the meeting place to ensure all important details are available to your allies in case of emergency.

Reminders: 24 Hours Before the Date

There are reminders in place within the app to help you keep track of important actions that you need to take before or after your date. For example, you may receive the following notifications 24 hours before the date:

  • Please set up your emergency number. This is the number (e.g. 911) the app will call if you fear for your safety and request help (the siren icon at the foot of each page).
  •  We strongly recommend you enter his physical description, as soon as you can. This would be sent by text to your allies in an emergency (the siren icon at the foot of each page).
  •  We strongly recommend you enter the street address of your meeting, as soon as you can. This would be sent by text to your allies in an emergency (the siren icon at the foot of each page).
  •  We strongly recommend you set up your friends and family as allies so the emergency function (the siren icon at the foot of each page) can text them.
  •  Please check your To-Do List items.

 

Once you are done setting up the items above, the app will mark them as completed and you should no longer receive the same alerts for the same date.

You may also view the active reminders and take action from the main menu.

Reminders: 4 Hours Before the Date

The following reminders are enabled within 4 hours before your date:

  • Don’t worry about detective work on the first date! You should try to relax and make him feel at home, as the first meeting can be quite stressful – you don’t want to put him off with an interrogation! Try to find out very casually about his family and friends, but only if the conversation flows that way naturally. If he does talk about them, remember what he says so you can check later for inconsistencies.

 

  • Please check the address of the venue. Predators have been known to fool their victims into entering a private address, while pretending it’s a restaurant or other venue.

 

  • We recommend you drink very little alcohol on the first few dates. When you’re feeling very relaxed, it can be very easy to let important details slip, or agree to something unsafe. If you are taking a taxi, make sure he doesn’t overhear your address. Also, be careful he doesn’t see your address on your driver license.

 

  • It’s important to be cautious when meeting a stranger. Don’t reveal your address until you’re certain you’ve cleared him of predatorial tendencies. It can take many hours for red flags to be seen.

 

  • For your third date, we recommend an activity which he might find challenging, so you can see how he reacts if things aren’t going his way. He should meet your friends or family if it’s not too early for you, so this could be the activity. If that’s not possible, how about a trip to a museum or an art gallery? Please choose a safe public venue.

 

  • Lie detection is something you must take seriously in the early stages of a relationship. You must be very tuned in to the details of his past life. Dangerous personalities lie often. The way to discover this is to pay careful attention to what he tells you and to remember the details. Then, on later occasions when he’s forgotten his own lies, and tells you something contradictory, you will be on to it.

Reminders: 24 Hours After the Date

The following reminders are enabled 24 hours after your date:

 

  • If he’s moving too fast, showering you with compliments and bombarding you with text messages, let him know and see how he reacts. Does he own it and start respecting your boundaries, or does he continue to love bomb you? Only do this if you feel safe.

 

  • If he’s coming on very strong early on, arrange an evening with your friends for just yourself and not him. A narcissist will be uncomfortable with this as he wants to control you, and he’ll also see this is as a partial rejection of him. Only do this if you feel safe.

 

  • If there was something you didn’t like about his behavior, we recommend that you call him out on it, and observe his reaction. Narcissists have fragile self-esteem under all the bluster and will often react badly to criticism. Please do it nicely though – you can use the sandwich approach: compliment then criticism, then compliment. And only do this if you feel safe.

Safety Dial

The safety dial is a visually engaging way to assess your suitor’s character and your dates.

The needle is initially set at the lower end of the yellow band. Every time you complete a date assessment, the safety dial updates accordingly. The needle will stay in the yellow band for the first six date assessments, but if the app raises red flags about your suitor’s behavior, it will drop into the red band. If there are no red flags after six date assessments and a general assessment, and no outstanding to-do items, the needle will move up to the green band.

The dial ascends higher into the green band if you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the three positive character questions (the second, third and fourth questions in the date assessment). To clarify, these positive character questions will only affect the score when the needle is already in the green band.

If there are outstanding to-do items, the needle will not reach the green band. Check the warnings or go to the To-do list section directly by tapping the to-do list icon at the foot of the page.

This page is also referred to as the ‘Suitor Summary’ screen, from where you can view warnings and take action, review dates or answer general questions about your suitors.

The app generates warnings in relation to your answers. Go through each one of them by tapping the Warnings button, then tap on ‘Review’ to jump to that specific question. You may change your answer or keep it as it is.

To select or add or edit a suitor, tap the Edit icon next to the current suitor’s name and select the name from the list. You can then review your dates or take the general assessment.

Date Assessment

There are 37 questions designed to help you assess how your date went and your suitor’s behavior during the date. It is highly recommended that you complete this after the date or as soon as you have time to do so. This ensures you remember the details of the date which makes it easier to answer the questions as accurately as possible.

The first question asks you to rate your suitor according to how much you like him. Your answer decides whether you will get the full set of questions – if you rate your suitor less than 7, you will only get to answer the first 13 questions. If you rate him higher, all 37 questions will be available for you.

You are encouraged to record your thoughts for each question. Tap the Describe button and enter the details in the input field. For convenience, you may also use your phone’s speech-to-text feature. Tap the mic icon on your keyboard and dictate with your voice.

Each question comes with an explanation to help you understand its purpose. You can tap ‘Read more’ to view it completely in a new window.

Also, the app has an automatic Save feature in case you need to stop in the middle of the assessment. The Back, Next, Home, and Hamburger buttons all save your answer before showing the next or previous question or the other functions. Just select the same date when you are ready to continue and you will be able to resume right where you left off.

Whenever you rate someone low, you will see a warning or the home icon at the bottom of the page will be highlighted. Tap the home icon to go to the Suitor Summary page and see your suitor’s score represented by the safety dial. You will also be able to see all of the warnings by tapping on the ‘Warnings’ button.

General Assessment

Once you have completed three date assessments, the app will start reminding you to do the general assessment. There are 27 general questions about your suitor and you can access this by tapping ‘General Check’ on the Suitor Summary screen.

Navigation and formatting are similar to the date assessment, except for the ‘Skip’ button where you can postpone answering the question. Remember that all questions need to be answered for the safety dial to record a positive assessment.

You will also see the same options available in the date assessment such as adding notes and viewing explanations about the questions.

Journal

In the Journal section, you can review, edit, or delete the notes that were added during the assessments. You can also add new notes.

The Journal is accessible from the main menu. You can also review and edit your notes after completing the assessment by tapping ‘View Notes’ from the Date Summary view.

 

The notes are neatly organized into categories. Select the category from the list to view all the notes under it.

You can also sort the notes according to the date they were added.

To-do List

Some of the questions in the date assessment automatically add a new entry to your to-do list. You can add, edit, or delete entries by tapping the To-do icon at the foot of the Suitor Summary page, or by accessing the To-do List from the main menu.

If you have outstanding tasks, you may see a notification reminding you to check your to-do list. To mark an item as done, simply tap the checkbox next to it and it will be grayed out – indicating that the task has been completed.

If you have created 10 or more notes in the last week, an item asking you to back up your phone will be added to the list.

Emergency Page

This is one of the main safety features of the app which is easily accessible by tapping the siren icon at the bottom of each screen.

In case of emergency, the app will call your designated emergency number and send a message to your allies alerting them of your situation and asking them also to call the police on your behalf. The message includes your date’s physical description and street address.

To add an emergency number, tap the large pink button and enter the emergency number for your country – for example, 911.

To set up your allies, tap the Set Allies button. You can enter their phone number manually or pull their data from your phone’s Contacts.

You can also get a friend to call you if you feel uncomfortable, to help you leave immediately without arousing suspicion. Tap ‘Get Friend to Call’ and select the ally from the list.

Secret Exit

There is a lock button on the bottom of every screen which is intended for you to discreetly switch from this app to another app of your choice.

To set it up for the first time, tap the lock icon and choose the app for the secret exit. The next time you tap the lock icon, the app will quickly pull up the other app. When you return to DateShield, you will be repositioned back on the screen where you left off.

Main Menu

The main menu consists of the following options and is accessible using the hamburger menu icon located at the bottom left corner of most screens.

Under Settings, you can set up or change the ‘Secret Exit’ app, the emergency phone number, and your allies. And you can toggle the switch next to the option ‘App active’ to turn the reminders off.

Visit the ‘Resources’ menu for more information on the app, and dating safety advice.

Available on the app stores in November