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Online Dating Safety Tips

How Do You Keep Yourself Safe While Online Dating?

Match.com announced this week it will start screening members against the national database of registered sex offenders. The decision follows a lawsuit filed by a woman sexually assaulted by someone she met on the site. Most of you say that when you date online, you date at your own risk — just like you do when you meet a date at a bar — but avoiding an image problem might have motivated Match's move.

Lawmakers in states including Connecticut, Texas, and New York also want to pass laws dealing with online dating safety. Bills under consideration would require dating sites provide more information about the risks of online dating and offer safety tips for singles. Match.com already offers some, including: guard your identity by not sharing your real name, phone number, or address; remain anonymous until you feel comfortable; get to know the person online before meeting him offline; always meet in public and tell a friend where you're going; stay sober; drive yourself to and from the first date.

A lot of these tips, like meet in a public place at first and tell a friend where you're going, are smart practices followed by smart single girls long before the Internet. But when you've met someone online, do you have any special rules you follow?

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