Safety tips for internet dating

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Dating services have been around for decades, but it's only been in the past 6 or 7 years that they've really taken off online.

Here are a few tips we've cobbled together that should help you safely navigate what is, for many, new online terrain.

It's best to use the dating service's internal, secure messaging system until you feel as though you know the person to some degree.

This ensures that when you do run into the inevitable creep online, you remain anonymous and safe. So it helps prepare yourself if you remember that going into the online dating process.

This allows members to communicate, but without knowing each other's email addresses or other identifying personal information.

(But hey, if you find someone to swoon over, that's cool too!

) Being realistic also means setting realistic expectations about geography.

Use Common Sense It's funny I have to write those words, but they are just so important.

We sometimes feel like we've made an "instant connection" online with someone we've only just met.

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