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When you are conversing with members in the chat room, corresponding through email or meeting members offline, use common sense and good judgment.

Choose a Reputable Online Personal/Dating Site:
Make sure that the site which you choose to browse or create a personal profile on is well known and reputable. Read the "About Us" or "Company Profile" on the site or read ratings or reccommendations on personals/dating site directories. Some personals/dating agencies which have internet sites do provide background checks, and will have a fee associated with their membership. Sites that provide fee based internet personals/dating services do not necessarily provide better or more trusted services. In most cases they do. Not all sites can be held responsible for the truthfulness of their members. For a listing of directories click here. Free sites. Pay sites.

Things to Watch For:
Watch for abusive language and evasive statements. Pay attention to stories that lack a certain level of detail. Lies and deceptions are easy to rehearse and keep undetected. People can present a perfect but false image of themselves on the internet in order to meet others for devious and criminal behavior. Be relatively conservative and trust your instincts. If it feels suspicious, uncomfortable or wrong in any way - forget about it.There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Keep Your Anonymity:
Never include your personal information in online profiles or initial emails that could help someone to identify or locate you. Your real name, real email address, address, phone number, place of work, or any other personal information should be kept private until you are completely comfortable with someone. Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it. To sign up for a free email account in which you can use anonymously for personals/dating sites click here.

Never Feel Pressured to Meet Anyone
One of the advantages of meeting someone online is that you can gradually screen information and then make a choice about  pursuing the relationship. You are NEVER required to meet anyone, regardless of your level of online intimacy. Even if you do decide to arrange a meeting, you always have the right to change your mind. Never meet someone if you feel don't feel comfortable. Again, trust your instincts!

If You Decide To Meet
You can never be absolutely certain about the background, motives or behavior of someone you've agreed to meet. It is better to be more cautious than less. Never agree to meet someone if you feel at all uncomfortable or afraid. When you decide to meet someone, proceed carefully. Always make sure someone knows about your meeting - where and when. Make arrangements to check in with them when you return. Meet in a public place at a time when you expect many other people to be present. Never meet someone at your home or place of employment. Avoid isolated or remote places such as drives in the country or hikes through the woods until you are completely comfortable with someone. Take your own car for the first few meetings and do not ride alone with the other person. Make sure you end the meeting while there are still other people present.

Keep The First Meeting Light and Easy:
Meet for conversation or a single activity in a public or crowded place. Keep the date short, maybe an hour or two. Stay away from any intense issues or conversations. Have fun and keep things light, but pay attention. When the timing is appropriate, thank the person for getting together and say good-bye. If you are asked about getting together again, answer honestly. It's OK to end a relationship if you are uncomfortable.

Better Safe Than Sorry!
Stay aware - even unhealthy or dangerous people can be on their best behavior. Behavior is unpredictable and there are never any guarantees, but there are some warning signs. Any displays of anger, intense frustration or attempts at pressuring or controlling you could be signs of a potential problem. Making insulting or disrespectful comments or any physically inappropriate behavior should be taken seriously. If in any way you feel uncomfortable or afraid, use your best judgment to diffuse the situation and leave. If necessary, excuse yourself and ask someone else on the scene for help, or slip out the back door and drive away. If necessary call the police. Never worry or feel embarrassed about your behavior if it will keep you safe.








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