Cyber-Dating Safety Tips
Along with the joys of cyber-dating, it is important for singles to use caution and be aware of keeping your identity safe. Paul Falzone, CEO of The Right One/Together Dating Service offers terrific advice for practicing safe surfing while Looking for Love Online.
According to Falzone, there are many whose desire for romance will lead them to pick up the equivalent of hitchhikers online. Instant messaging, chat rooms and online personal ads have become an unavoidable part of the online experience, but who knows who might be on the other side of the keyboard?
“Keeping yourself and your identity safe when you’re looking for love online is challenging, but, not impossible,” adds Falzone. And he should know as the head of the largest brick-and-mortar dating service in the world.
“For every good-hearted man or woman looking for love, there is a dangerous line-up of shady characters that includes con men, liars and the most violent of criminals. Give out too much information, or even a little, as you chat and you may find yourself a victim of a cyber stalker, harassment, identity theft or worse,” said Falzone.
In light of some recent tragedies of online dating gone wrong and the significant rise in identity theft, Falzone offers 10 key cyber-dating safety tips with terrific advice on how to avoid online harassment and cyber stalking as well as compromised personal information:
1· Do not fill out online profiles for free e-mail accounts that you may use when chatting or instant messaging. Even the most seemingly innocuous piece of information, when coupled with the personal information that may slip out in conversation can be used to pry into your personal life.
2· Be aware that an abundance of personal information can be harvested through both free and paid Web sites. Be very leery of any additional information you may post on a personal homepage or social network sites such as MySpace, Facebook and others.
3. Avoid using screen names that reveal your identity or location.
4· Be sure to protect your computer and your personal information by installing and keeping computer security software up-to-date to deter online thieves.
5· Don’t respond to, and block, any annoying, threatening or harassing e-mail.
6· When mail or phone contact is necessary, such as when using auction sites, try to use an office phone number and address or a postal box.
7 · Be aware of any vague or inconsistent information that a correspondent provides.
8· Be skeptical of any photo they send that look too professional or “too good to be true.” It may just be an image pulled from the Net.
9· If you become the victim of stalking or harassing behavior, don’t hesitate to report it to the legal authorities just as you would with such treatment offline. You may also be able to report such conduct to the offending parties Internet Service Provider.
Whether you use an online dating or singles’ service or even one of the “brick and mortar” variety, ask questions to gauge how well they will protect and serve you. Do they conduct background checks? Are their safeguards to ensure that members are not married or have criminal records? Will they offer a guarantee? Are they in good standing with local business associations and the Attorney General’s office?
Falzone continued, “There is no way to be completely safe or secure when using the Internet as a meeting place. But by being skeptical, and using your head as much as your heart, it is possible to have fun without attracting unnecessary danger.”
Now catering to more than 300,000 members at over 60 locations throughout North America, The Right One and Together Dating are the largest brick and mortar dating services in the industry. The Right One and Together Dating offer a more consistent product, a greater number of potentially compatible mates and added value of flexibility in transferring memberships to another geographic region.