Safety

Most Background are Checks Easy to Bypass

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Dave at Online Dating Insider has a comment about this at Iovation (a company that deals with preventing fraud) which talks about how easy it is to bypass most background checks. I agree with Dave that background check and fraud detection companies should work together. I also see the need for the concept of something like OpenID to be expanded further to allow for additional information (that could be verified) to be available to sites that ask for it (if the user approves it of course). This way, you could log into multiple dating services with the same account and you would only need your personal ID information verified once.

For those of you who don't know what OpenID is, it allows you to use the same username and password across different websites. This helps reduce the number of usernames and passwords you have to remember plus, it helps people expand their internet presence (ie you know Joe from the one website is the same one from another, if it uses the same OpenID account). A number of popular websites support this including MySpace, Yahoo and many WordPress sites. More information on OpenID can be found at this website.

New Poll Suggests Half of Us have used the Internet to look up Someone

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Apparently about half the adults online have looked either themselves up or someone else on the internet according to the findings of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. I find this a little surprising. I expected the percentage to be a lot higher, especially if we are just talking about people who use the internet on a regular basis. I don't know of anyone who hasn't typed their name into Google to see what comes up.

It's also a good idea to do before you meet someone for the first time on a date. It could give you a little bit of insight on their life. Just remember there is a lot of people out in the world with the same name!

More information about this survey can be found at SFGate.com.

Online Dating Safety Tips

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Online dating is generally very safe due to the distance between members. There is no physical contact or even having to sit in the same room, so due to this getting to know someone online is safe.

When getting to know members online you should still follow basic safety rules before you ever give out personal information to another member or arrange to meet.

When getting to know somebody online always keep your wits about you, you do not have to rush, you can take plenty of time to get to know someone, but always beware that you cannot take everything at face value. Sometimes, some things are not always as they appear, which is why you should take time to get to know someone. There are many genuine people around but as there are anywhere, whether in a pub or bar, there is always one or two who are not as they appear.

Here are a few things to remember when getting to know someone on an online dating site, and long before you ever plan to give out personal information or plan to meet.

- Initially, never give out personal information about yourself.

- Don't take everything at face value.

- Ask lots of questions.

- Take your time when getting to know someone online, don't rush things, take plenty of time to get to know as much about someone as possible.

- Watch out for the red herons, the things that dont seem to add up, or contradictions, this may mean that the person you are chatting to is providing you information that might not be a true reflection of themselves.

- Make sure you feel comfortable, and if someone makes you slightly uncomfortable, think twice about continuing your conversation.
If someone is abusive to you, block them and report them to the online dating administrator.

- Don't allow a member to talk you into anything, even if they are very convincing and come across as very genuine and honest. Make sure you are in charge, you do things when you are ready.

- Before considering a date with an online member, make sure you know as much as possible. If you are unsure and need to know more, wait until you have enough information.

- Remember when chatting online, any genuine person will always be happy to wait until you are ready to progress things.

- Make sure you see plenty of photos of the person, so that you are fully aware of their appearance.

If you feel you want to progress from the online dating and chatting, chat on the telephone first and get to know more this way before meeting.

When deciding to meet in person there are still rules to follow, and these go to the same for anyone who is meeting someone for the first time. So this advice also goes to people who have met someone for the first time anywhere, whether in a bar, pub or club, and decides to meet someone for the first time alone with this person.

- Always meet in a public place that is well known to you.

- Always let someone know where you are and where you are going and who you are meeting.

- Consider making a call to a friends during the date of after the date to let friends know that you are fine.

- Consider a lunchtime meeting in a public place during the day.

- Make your own travel arrangements on a date, do not allow your date to drive you home.

- If you are travelling considerable distance to meet someone, make sure you have made accommodation arrangements, do not allow your date to put you up.

- Keep your first date fairly brief, so that you have a time limit allowing you a safe 'exit' point.

- Take a friends and maybe suggest meeting with as a group for the first date so that you are in the company of friends.

It may seem odd to have such rules, but at the end of the day you are meeting a complete stranger, and the information you have about a person may not be accurate. Meeting someone for the first time can be fun, and we don't want to spoil your fun, however we just want to ensure that you keep an open mind and keep your wits about you. Keep a level head and be sensible. Safety comes first and there is plenty of time to get to know someone, remember, you don't have to rush. Take your time.

If you have any further advice which you would like to give, then please don't hesitate to post a comment.

Safer Dating? Bill would require criminal checks by Dating Services.

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In New Jersey the Senate Budget Committee advanced a proposal to require online dating services to tell customers whether criminal background screenings are carried out on members. Other states have considered this but none have passed any laws. The main reason no laws have been passed is it could mislead people into feeling secure when background screening only shows who has been a criminal and not someone who may be a criminal.

The only dating service at the moment that I am aware of that performs criminal background checks is True.com. While this does obviously point to people who are more likely to commit crimes, it could lead people to feel perfectly safe and therefore let down their guard. This is a tool that helps you be safe but, you should still be just as careful as when going on any other date. Read our article 10 Tips on having a fun and safe first date. for some useful tips on being safe when dating online.

There are also independent services available online that allow you to perform criminal background checks. SafeDate and Check Your Dates Past are such sites and for a small fee will do a criminal background check for you on anyone. So if you have any doubt or worries about someone you are communicating online with, these services maybe worthwhile for you.

Read the full news article here on the Safer Dating Bill.