Online personals and dating is a great way to meet that special someone, however it is important to approach it with safety as your first priority.
While most online services are very secure and do a good job at helping ensure your privacy and confidentiality, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. Most services do not pre-screen their users, therefore they cannot assume any responsibility for the people you meet through their sites.
This officially grants you the title of screener, a responsibility which you must take very seriously. After all, if you are comfortable and feel secure online, you will have much more fun with online dating!
Here are a few good security tips:
1- Never reveal your last name or address to a stranger. If telephone numbers are exchanged, try to use a cell phone with a private number. If you call a stranger at home, always use caller ID blocking to maintain your privacy.
2- Do not use your primary EMAIL address for online dating correspondence - create an anonymous Email account (such as a Hotmail account) to correspond with potential dates.
3- If you decide to meet that special someone, always meet in a public place - NEVER meet in private for your first date! Always let someone know where you are going.
4- Be honest about who you are and what you are seeking - do not reveal more than you normally would in a face to face first meeting. If your online contact attempts to pressure you into revealing more than you are comfortable with, re-evaluate his/her intentions.
5- Always review the security and confidentiality policy of the online dating service you are using. Many of the better known online dating sites have very good privacy policies. A comprehensive listing of major online dating sites is available at http://www.cosmodating.com
6- Don't rush into a face to face meeting - take your time, chat up a storm and get to know each other. Is the person on the other end being honest, or do you get the feeling they are just saying what you want to hear. You are the sole judge and jury in this love trial - use your best judgment!
In conclusion, online dating safety should be your #1 priority as you venture into the world of online dating.
Go slow, take your time to and get to know you potential dates. Like the song says, "Only fools rush in" - taking your time will only increase your chances of meeting that special someone and at the same time help weed out the bad seeds!
About the Author:
Andy Thompson is owner and operator of http://www.cosmodating.com - he can be reached at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org