Protecting Yourself in Online Dating

By Michael Klazema on 1/17/2011

Online dating is a huge industry, and thousands of singles are meeting new people every day and starting up relationships. There have, however, been numerous stories and concerns regarding the safety and security of these services, since it is so easy for people to misrepresent themselves online and create a situation that is either a disappointment or a danger to the other person.

Online background checks are often discussed in the online dating world, and some states have either required these services to provide a check or to make it clear on the site that they will not be performing any background checks and that prospective daters should exercise appropriate caution.

An ABC news article recently discussed a couple of the big dating sites and how they feel about online background checks., a site that sees more than 20,000 visitors in a day, seemed to be hesitant about providing background checks. Certainly, it would be a large expense for them, but they said that they feared that it would create a false sense of security in their users., on the other hand, runs background checks to screen out convicted felons, including sex offenders.

In the end, the most important thing to remember is that your personal safety is up to you. The simple fact is that a background check can reveal a lot of important information that can help you date with more confidence. Is this person married? Do they move around a lot? Are there any criminal or civil records tied to this person? What about bankruptcies, liens and judgments? This are questions that should be answered before you get involved.

It is really easy for unethical people to hide behind a glamour-shot and an embellished profile. That doesn’t mean that you should simply give up on finding someone special through online means, but it does mean you should take every precaution to ensure that this person is who they say they are.

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