eHarmony offers Free Communication this Labor Day Weekend

eHarmony
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It has been about 3 months since eHarmony has had a free communication event. Well the wait is over! In the United States and Canada eHarmony will be having a free communication event from September 2nd to the end if day on September 5th. September 5 also happens to be Labor day in the US making it the last long weekend of summer (FYI Canada also celebrates Labour Day at the same time).

So what is a free communication event? As the name suggests all members of eHarmony will be able to communicate for free during the promotion. New and existing free members will be able to create a dating profile, receive matches, and use the guided communication process to communicate with those matches at no cost. The only thing not include is viewing of members profile pictures and Secure Call communication.

This will be eHarmony's 35th free communication event with the last one occurring last spring in May (see Story).

To find out more about this matchmaking service you can take a look at our review of eHarmony.

Login Through Facebook

About Us
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We have had a number of site upgrades over the last week. While a little late (I was hoping to have it finished in June) you can now use your Facebook account to log into Dating Sites Reviews. This means in as little as two clicks, visitors now can create an account on our site with all of your basic information filled in. This means participating in the forums, writing comments and reviews has now become much easier. As an added benefit, once you have created an account you also can opt-in to receive email notifications on any posts you have written.

Our Facebook login is very secure. It is all done on Facebook itself so we never need to know your password. To log into our site using Facebook and create a new account all you need to do is click on the "Login with Facebook" button at the bottom of the page in the left column. From there you will be redirected to Facebook. Once at Facebook, if you are not logged in, it will ask you to do so. Facebook will then ask you if you wish to allow our site access to you public information and your email address. If you click "Allow" you will then be redirected back to Dating Sites Reviews where we will automatically create an account based on the information you have granted us access to.

If you would like to create an account and/or login now you can also visit our user login page.

Dating Site Comparisons Coming

General News
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We are hard at work finishing up our new dating site comparison tool that will allow people who search for dating sites to also make a side by side comparison by checking off 2 or more dating sites and then clicking the compare button. On a new page, the sites will then be listed vertically along with all of the attributes we track for each site. These attributes include number of members, costs, features and all whole bunch more (about 30 in all). We hope to have this up in running in June.

In the next few weeks we also hope to have our Facebook and Twitter account login integration finished which will allow users to log into Dating Sites Reviews using these accounts. Most people have one or both of these accounts so we figured it makes sense to support them. Plus, when you create an account here your user information, Bio and picture will automatically transfer over from Facebook or Twitter once you give permission.

Chemistry's FREE this March Weekend - 2011

General News
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Chemistry is having another popular free communication weekend soon. Starting this Friday March 25 you will be able to communicate for free on Chemistry.com for 3 days. This means every single member will be able to communicate for no cost and with no credit card required during this time period.

To start, all you have to do is signup as a free member and take the personality test. Once the test is complete you will then start to receive matches based on the results of your test. These matches you receive from Chemistry are generated from a matchmaking system designed by famed Biological Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher. From your matches you can then choose which ones you would like to start up a conversation with. With communication being free from March 25 to March 27 you can expect the dating site to be extra busy during this time. This means you will have a greater chance of finding the one!

The last free communication weekend was just before Valentine’s Day (see Story). For more details about this dating service for singles who wish to find a long-term relationship, you can check out our Chemistry.com review.

Match.com Acquires OKCupid for $50 Million

OkCupid
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I was surprised today to find out that Match.com announced that they have acquired the free dating site OKCupid. The purchase price is $50 million plus potential future payments which depends upon performance in the coming year of the dating site. OKCupid makes most of its revenue through displaying online advertising. Their secondary revenue generating tool is a paid upgrade membership option. The CEO and co-founder of OkCupid, Sam Yagan will continue to run the business and oversee all day-to-day operations.

OKCupid membership base has seen a large increased over the last 18 months. Their members tend to be younger adults which is a market Match.com is looking to develop.

This time last year Match.com purchased Singlesnet.com for an undisclosed amount. (see Story) and in the summer, the year before, they had acquired People Media for $80 million (see Story). I wonder who they will buy next year? 😊

For more on the story you can read the press release. To find out more about these two dating sites, please read our Match.com review and our OKCupid.com review.

Popular Dating Site PlentyOfFish Hacked

POF (Plenty of Fish)
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One of the world's largest free online dating sites, PlentyOfFish.com, has been hacked. The site released the following official statement:

On January 18th, after days of countless and unsuccessful attempts, a hacker gained access to Plentyoffish.com database. We are aware from our logs that 345 accounts were successfully exported. Hackers attempted to negotiate with Plentyoffish to "hire" them as a security team. If Plentyoffish failed to cooperate, hackers threatened to release hacked accounts to the press.

The breach was sealed in minutes and the Plentyoffish team had spent several days testing its systems to ensure no other vulnerabilities were found. Several security measures, including forced password reset, had been imposed. Plentyoffish is bringing on several security companies to perform an external security audit, and will take all measures necessary to make sure our users are safe.

In an extremely strange and rambling blog post, PlentyOfFish CEO Markus Frind tells his side of the story. He describes the event as an "an incredibly well planned and sophisticated attack," and says that the man responsible, a 23 year old hacker named Chris Russo who allegedly also hacked the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, harassed his wife and blamed the security breach on "the Russians." According to the post, Frind's wife received a call from Russo saying that PlentyOfFish had been hacked, and that "Russians have taken over his computer and are trying to kill him, and his life is in extreme danger and they are currently downloading plentyoffish's database." Frind says that he was listening in the background, closed the security breach, and immediately ordered an investigation.

Frind goes on to say that Russo demanded that he fly to either Argentina or Washington, D.C. in order to stop "the attacks from the Russians," who supposedly had access to their bank accounts and were looking to steal $30 million from a string of dating sites. According to Frind, Russo also claimed that 5 or 6 other dating sites had been breached, and then gave Frind the administrative password for eHarmony.com to prove the validity of his claim.

Reactions to the hack have been strong. Dave Evans, an analyst who follows the online dating industry, told CTV News that Frind is "a self-made millionaire who's a total hardcore geek and has built most of the site himself." He continues to express disappointment, saying that Frind "hasn't spent evidently any time on securing passwords" and calling his actions "a lack of respect for your members."

In the same article, PlentyOfFish forum user fnord is quoted as saying "The site owner didn't think it was important to notify the users...but did find it important enough to go off on a crazed diatribe on his personal blog. Despite claiming to have plugged the security hole, Plenty of Fish is still sending out passwords in plain text, which is just this side of just posting them on the Internet for everyone to see." User QuasarDJ adds "I have grave concerns about the security of my personal information on the Plenty of Fish site and I've yet to see even the most simple updates to guard against these problems."

While the convoluted story has yet to be completely confirmed, it's clear that a hack of PlentyOfFish has occurred and that it's in the best interest of all members to change their username, email, and password combinations, particularly if they are also used on other sites.

For more information on this dating site you can read our review of PlentyofFish.