While online dating can be very rewarding, itís important to be cautious.
Here are a few steps you can take to increase your online dating safety:
Whether you meet someone in a chat room or through an online dating
service, the first rule of online dating is:
Take it slowly.
You might think you know the person because you have been chatting online
or corresponding via email, but remember to use common sense when you decide
to connect in person with an online dating pal.
Many people who visit Internet dating sites are not completely
honest. Although I advise you to be honest, please realize that others
might stretch the truth a little (or a lot).
In a recent Nielsen//NetRatings' analysis of the online dating
community, out of those acknowledging that they accessed an online
dating service the previous day, 11 percent were married individuals.
And those were the ones being honest!
Keep in mind, though, that no online dating Web site is perfect. You
future mate might be somewhere on the Internet, but go slowly, use
common sense, and always be at least a little suspicious.
Most online dating services use a double-blind system that protects
your identity. If this system is not available at the online dating
service you choose, create a nickname to use just for online dating
sites. It is never a good idea to use your real name.
If the person doesn't send a photo and makes excuses, stop
corresponding with them.
Don't assume that the person who chats to you on the computer screen
will be the same person in real life. The single executive you chat with
who says he has a body fat rating of 18 percent and works out every day
could very well be unemployed, overweight, married, and have several
Oh, and if you do get a photo, remember that it might not be current
To help ensure that your online dating experiences are happy ones, here
are a few more tips to help you increase your online dating safety.
If you make a connection with someone online, it's tempting to want
to meet right away, but give it enough time to be sure that person is
If the person you are corresponding with wishes to perpetuate a
fantasy, it becomes harder to maintain that fantasy over time.
If you suspect that something is not quite right, keep asking
questions and insisting on answers (and proof of those answers).
If you decide to speak with someone on the phone, ask the person for
his or her number. Use telephone-blocking techniques (check with your
local phone company) so he or she can't get your number through caller
ID. If the person is hesitant about provide a phone number, that should
give you something to think about.
If you give out your number, use your cell phone until you know the
person well enough (could be after several meetings) to provide your
If you met traditionally, at work or at a social gathering, for
example, you already know how to proceed. But in this cyber forum you
have only been meeting with your minds and the next step must be meeting
If you decide to meet, choose a safe place, such as a restaurant
during a busy time. Be sure to tell a friend where you're going and what
time you plan to return. Give your friend the person's name and phone
Never arrange for someone to pick you up at your home or office. Take
your own transportation. When the date is over, do not allow the person
to follow you.