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Online Dating: Know How To Protect Yourself

Aug 17, 2007
Online dating is a great avenue for single individuals to meet other single people who are looking for dates and mates. With the plethora of choices you have on online dating sites, you are likely to find people to whom you share the same interests with and to whom you can easily connect. However, the internet is also a venue where people can deceive other people as you practically will not have any idea to practically who the person is you are maintaining correspondence with. It is best that you take the necessary precautionary measures when you decide to venture into the world of online dating.

Even if you have been exchanging emails or chatting frequently online, it is advised to take things slow first for you don't know the person yet that well. While your email correspondence and chat conversations can reveal a lot of things about the person on the other end of the line, you are not assured if he or she is really how you perceive him or her to be.

When you join an online dating website always read the site's privacy policy before you fill up any profile forms. While you may be honest about the information you will be providing, bear in mind that there are many people out there who will somehow stretch the truth or totally lie about it. Many online dating sites though are developing ways of ensuring that all their members are honest about their profiles and are exactly as they claim them to be. But with the many online dating sites available, it is wise to still stay cautious, be suspicious and to always use your common sense.

As much as possible use a nickname or only your first name and avoid including your last name, your address, home number, work address and other important details. While many online dating sites have a double blind system for identity protection, it is best not to declare any identifying information.

If preferable, ask for a photo to at least give you an idea of the person you are corresponding with. But don't always believe everything you see for the pictures may not be actually how they look like or have been taken several years ago.

If you and your online dating pal decide to talk to each other on the phone, ask for his or her number. Try to ask you local phone company for methods where your number cannot be viewed through caller identification. If you decide to give out your number, avoid giving out your home number and instead give out your cellphone number until you know him that well enough to provide a phone number at home.

You and your online dating pal may feel a connection after all the emails, chats and phone conversations and you think that it is time to meet each other face to face. Always meet in public places where there are a lot of people. Inform a friend of who you are going with and where you will be going. Give that friend the name and phone number of the person you will be meeting. Avoid letting your date pick you up at home as well as driving you home after.

Online dating shouldn't scare anybody for there are really honest, single individuals out there who are sincere about their intentions.
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