Free dating sites are sometimes considered less than safe, but the facts confirm that when you are prudent about the information that you make available on the internet, you are just as safe as you would be in a singles bar.
After all, you really don't know the truth about anyone until you have an opportunity to visit with them personally.
The personal visits can be conducted on the internet or at a coffeehouse or other public location, but you still must take time to get to know someone before committing to a further relationship.
Here are a few tips to help make your online dating safe.
Maintain your privacy There are free dating sites that are just as secure as the paid sites.
The important thing to remember is that you should never give out personal or sensitive information where it can be accessed by anyone who comes in the site.
This includes your address, social security number, telephone number, where you work, or where you go to school.
Certainly you should protect financial information such as checking accounts, credit card number or driver's license number.
Any of the above information can be used to access other information about you and you could end up in serious financial or personal danger.
Take it slow When you are entering one of the free dating sites, or even a paid site, don't be in a rush to make things happen on the romantic front.
Take time to review profiles and contact only those that you are truly interested appear to be a good match at least as far as you can tell from the profile.
If there is a chat room, visit with individuals there, or agree to meet one person specifically.
Don't be too quick to assume that the person is the love of your life.
Try to get to know them online before making arrangements to meet them in person.
Building a friendship Even though you are looking for relationships on free dating sites, don't assume that that's somehow second class.
Learn about the people on the site before taking it to the next level which is building friendships.
If you and the online friend can't carry on a conversation online, what makes you think you will be able to discuss anything face to face? Deciding if the individual is someone you want to be friends with is the first step in dating.
First meeting If you decide that the relationship developed on free dating sites is one that you want to take to the next level, you can arrange to meet somewhere.
This should be a public place and a neutral place.
In other words, don't meet at his hotel room in your hometown.
Probably the first meeting should be somewhere like a coffee shop or restaurant so that there are other people around.
If you can rely on a friend to double date or at least to be available so the meeting is more of a group thing rather than a romantic interlude, you will be more relaxed about the meeting.