With the advancement and increased use of technology, online dating has become a common practice for people who are looking to meet a significant other. Online dating services can vary; they can be free or subscription-based, open to all or targeted to a specific audience. Some services may provide background checks for members or require subscribers to complete a personality survey, while others simply allow members to create a profile. Before signing up, members and visitors should carefully read the terms and conditions of a particular service.

Online dating services may have similar applications as other social networking sites, allowing members to create profiles, post pictures, write blogs, and instant message each other in chat rooms.

Sharing Personal Information

As with any Internet social interaction, online dating comes with risks. As we often warn children and teens not to communicate with strangers online, adults too need to take preventative measures to avoid being victims of online predators.

When communicating with someone new online, use caution in sharing personal identifying information such as your last name, phone number, address, or place of employment. Many services will provide an email system, which members can use in lieu of using a personal email address. If you decide to make face-to-face contact, insist on meeting in a public place and let your friends and/or family know of your plans. Provide your own transportation to and from the meeting place.