Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Online dating: Trust, Honesty & Safety

Online dating presents the modern single with many new opportunities. At the same time, more opportunity brings more risks. Until you meet a person face to face, it can be hard to know the truth about them.

In any relationship, there must be a certain degree of trust, honesty, and safety. People in online relationships can often mask the truth about themselves, bringing trust, honesty, and often safety into question.

Is your new online relationship built on trust? Are you being honest with each other? Are you ensuring your own safety? Our guidelines below are designed to help you with all of your online relationships.

Never reveal any personal information. Your first name should be sufficient. If anyone begins to pester you for your last name, you should consider avoiding them. Use a webmail account for any email correspondence - don't use your ISP-assigned email address.

You should also never tell anyone where you live. Never let anyone know the street or surburb you live in. If you live in a small town, it may be safer to only mention what state you live in.

Be cautious when answering any personal questions, as you don't really know who the other person is. The less personal detail you provide them with, the safer you are.

You may be wondering how anyone can trust you if you are not telling them the truth about yourself. Remember that your safety is much more important than being truthful. Check every email and message you send, to ensure that you do not accidentally give any personal information out.

If the other person begins to get angry with you because you won't tell them your street address, this should be an indication that they may not be entirely trustworthy.

Some people that you talk to online may make you feel quite awkward, either through their topics of conversation, as well as their questions towards you. Remember that no one has the right to make you uncomfortable.

If you don't like a situation, leave it. Report any abusive or harassing contacts to a chat room or message board moderator. They will be able to take appropriate action against the abusive person.

These warnings are not meant to discourage you from beginning online relationships. Many people have found life-long love and friendship via the Internet, but you must take care. Not everyone is honest or trustworthy - so take care.

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