Safety-wise, meeting on the Net is inherently similar to meeting offline.
As long as the same standard dating precautions are followed, cyber-savvy daters can feel truly at ease while getting to know each other.
The main thing to remember: trust your instincts and use common sense just like you would offline.
You can rest assured that you're in the right place because Spark Networks, the company that brings you Catholic Mingle, has been in the online personals business since the early days of the Internet and goes to extra lengths to ensure that its sites stay clean and safe.
We do our best to monitor and block emails of anyone who uses profanity, hustles or is not serious about finding a relationship.
We also keep all contacts between members onsite so your email address remains confidential.
Before you get started, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. You can also check out this handy infographic, "Dating Safety Tips," to get a bird's-eye view of precautions to take.
- Remember that you are in control of your online experience at all times. You can remain completely anonymous until you feel ready.
- You are also in control when it comes to taking an online relationship offline. Plus, you have an advantage online because you can get to know each other before you meet. Remember that you don't need to take anything further than the computer or phone wires until you feel completely at ease. Go at your own pace!
- When you do decide to meet face to face, pick a public place and provide your own transportation to and fro. Tell a friend where you're going and check in when you return home.
- Never include your personal contact information in your profile, especially telephone numbers, email, home address or your last name, and only give them out when your instincts tell you this is someone you can trust. It's okay to take your time.
- Set up an email account just for online personals.
- Ask a lot of questions and watch for inconsistencies.
- Stay away from members who won't take no for an answer or pressure you for any kind of personal information. Serious cyber-savvy daters will respect your space and allow you to take your time.
- If someone asks you to go to their personal web site or asks you for money, use common sense not to oblige and then report the situation to us.
- If someone gives you a phone number with a strange area code, check it out to make sure it's not a charge number before you make the call.
- Using your own good judgment is your best bet because ultimately you are responsible for your personal dating experience. Trust your instincts and then have fun with the right people!