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Playing it Safe Online
by Linda J Alexander

Before You Meet

Before you go out with someone new, it is important to get as much information as you can about the person you will meet.

Always ask for a full name, address, and telephone number before agreeing to go out with someone you have never met. Never go out with someone who will only give you a pager or work phone number. (There is a very good chance of a spouse in the house.)

When someone gives his or her phone number, find a reason to call unexpectedly. This may help you to find out if she is married or he is living with someone. Find out where the person works and if you can call him or her at work

First Date Know-How

Be careful when agreeing to meet anyone in person. Set the conditions for your date and do not let the other person change them.

Remember, you really do not know someone until you spend time with them in person. Represent yourself accurately. Exaggerating or deceiving is easy online.

Areas to be particularly cautious about are marital status and physical appearance. Begin with a request for a picture and send them a recent one of you.

If someone is unwilling to send a recent photo, this is warning sign. If he or she continuously comes up with an excuse, it is because that person has something to hide.

Having a scanned photo is available at Kinko's for less than ten dollars, so there is no valid excuse for not doing it. After you have exchanged photos, continue to fill in the gaps, so that the other person does not create you in their image. Keep it honest.

Always tell someone where you are going with your date and when you will return. Leave your date's full name and telephone numbers with that person and write it down.

For a small fee, you can leave information regarding where you are going and all the pertinent details with a service called SmartDate at If your date wants you to keep it secret, this is a very big red flag. Protect yourself

Always meet in a public place that you are familiar with on your first date. Stay near other people in a lighted area. Getting together for coffee is a pleasant, casual way to get to know someone.

Never allow yourself to be picked up from your house. Giving your address out to a stranger is not safe. Arrange your own transportation so that you can leave if there is any sign of trouble.

Pay attention to everything that this person has told you about him or herself. If you find out that your date has lied about anything, this is another red flag. Do not bring your date back to your house after the first meeting.

You do not know this person. Use the same kind of common sense and rules that you would use in any type of dating relationship.

Be smart and be safe. Take control of your future. Know what you are getting into before you invest your heart, money, or your life. Information is the key

About the Author: 
LINDA J ALEXANDER is an attorney and the President of WhoisHe.Com and WhoisShe.Com. A professional service which provides comprehensive background, criminal and civil record checks on prospective mates, employees, business partners, future step-parents, Nanny Checks, business partners since 1997. To contact her call 760-806-4377 or email checkhimout@whoishe.com and checkherout@whoisshe.com

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