Using online dating services and dating online can have its benefits as well as some dangers and drawbacks. There are things that a person can do to protect themselves, along with the rest of the online dating community. Following are some things to remember and steps to take to make sure that you are dating online in the safest manner possible.
First things first, a person considering entering the online dating world must first scout out a site that is reputable and reliable for safety and honesty. There are a few ways to go about this, but the best way is always going to be reading the reviews other users have posted on a particular site of interest. And you always must make sure they are not biased reviews. The reviews that need to be read are the ones posted by people who have used the site themselves, for example, a person who has experience on the site with its services, and has no connection whatsoever to the site, either as an affiliate, or someone who profits in any way from the site. The general consensus is, if there are no user testimonials or unbiased user reviews for the site, stay away. The site is most likely either a fake, or is just too unknown to take seriously. Either way, you want to stay away to keep yourself out of danger.
Also, while on the subject of reliability and honesty of an online dating site, a user must consider its privacy practices and terms of service. It is always a good idea before joining any kind of online dating venue to read the terms of service and privacy practices documents in full. Links to both of these items are usually found on the bottom of the site in very small print, almost as if they do not want you to read them in the first place. After reading through these documents, ask yourself some questions. Do you personally agree with their practices and terms of service? Does the site seem to care about prospective client, the user and me? On the other hand, does the site seem to care too much about the money and no refunds? If nothing in the terms of service or the privacy agreement agrees with your moral standards, or if there is none of these links to begin with, this is another clue to stay far, far away form the site. It usually means that the site is after your money, not your happiness.
When in doubt when trying to pick an online dating site, always sign up for free trial periods. Most reputable online dating sites will offer a 7-14 day trial period and, sometimes, up to a month free. This is a great way to see if you agree with the site, and if the site agrees with you. It not only gives you time to evaluate the site itself; it gives you time to see if the people on the site are the type of people you want to associate yourself with.