May 24, 2012

How to Safely and Effectively Use Dating Sites

Photo by Henry M. Diaz
For many online dating has become a social norm. But as with all things there is some risk involved, such as Internet fraud or meeting sexual predators. While the overall experience is positive for most, those new to it should learn common practices of maintaining privacy throughout the process.

When you first start out, pick websites that have a good reputation. Some websites are free while other websites have different membership levels. Try free options before giving credit card information. Also do background research to ensure the website's reputation. There are a lot of great websites out there, which include,,,,,,,,,, and

When it comes to online dating, honesty is the best policy. People don't appreciate being lied to in any form or manner. Always portray yourself accurately, play up the best features you really have and be honest about the type of person you're looking for. A more educated person can be very appealing to prospective dates; you can find out more about online schooling here.

Always use recent photographs of yourself. The more the better because many people only respond to profiles that have pictures. This also links back to portraying yourself accurately. Don't use photos from years, or 20 pounds, ago. It's dishonest.

Image from Youtube Web series "Old Dog & New Trick"
Be careful about putting too much personal information on your profile. eHow has numerous ways to keep safe when dating online.  Don't use your full name, email address, phone number, home address, or any information about where you work. Consider creating a separate e-mail exclusively for your dating profile. Those that like to be a little more Internet and computer savvy and protect their information while online can look into a computer forensics degree.

Correspond with respective dates through email before speaking on the phone. Again, honesty is the best policy; don't hide facts like you may be married, have kids, live abroad, or are in prison, but also respect personal boundaries during your conversations. Also ask for pictures – the more the better, as you will get the best idea what the person looks like.

Image from Youtube Web series "Old Dog & New Trick"
If the person seems honest and you're still interested, move up to communicating on the phone. Many things can be revealed while conversing this way, as the available time to write an email is eliminated. You can easily see how the person responds to questions and converses with you. You also have a better idea of what their voice sounds like.

Honesty goes both ways. When communicating with others, watch out for vague or short responses. They may be hiding something from you.

When you finally choose to meet someone in person, always meet in a public place such as a shop, restaurant, museum, or any other public space that you would like to go.
o Always use recent photographs of yourself. The more the better because many people only respond to profiles that have pictures.


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