But in the online dating world, meeting strangers can be scary and poses a whole host of challenges, among them money scams and identity theft.
Here are a few safety tips you should know before you go looking for love online, with some reassurances from seasoned "virtual" daters. Wait until you actually meet the person and build up a level of trust before you share your address, phone number or real email address.
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When Rat Pack singers croon about "strangers in the night," it sounds so romantic.
Even if it is just a telephone number and an email address - make sure you have contact details about your date beyond their online user name.
Check them out online The advantage of everyone living their lives online now is that you’ll be able to verify a person’s identity before you meet them by looking them up on social media.
The Risks Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.
Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Viruses & Spyware A basic understanding of computer viruses and spyware.Have it forward to your cell phone, so your dates don't know your cell or home phone number. "I'm still a little wary about it and would prefer the 'love at first sight while petting a dog experience,'" says Agatha B., age 27.And despite enjoying a handful of dates, 24-year old Patricia B."Dating sites (usually) take their members' safety issues very seriously and make it easy for you to report any suspicious profiles or serious problems right away.Some sites even offer the member an option to sign up for a background check." Here are her top tips: • Do a Google search for your date's name. • Use Google Voice and create a phone number exclusive to dating. • If you're uncomfortable on a date for any reason, just get up and walk out. The online daters I spoke to voiced mixed feelings about their experiences.Opt for a neutral meeting place When meeting someone for the first time (read: second, third and fourth) arrange your date in a neutral place - and never accept a dinner invite at a person’s house.