Okay – found a dating site. What next?

One of the key deciding factors about the dating site you choose is if it’s a facility that allows you to do a local search. Most, even the free dating sites (a word about them later), have give you the option to locate a prospective partner within easy reach. It’s no use falling in love with someone from Adelaide in time for Valentine’s Day. Even if you can stretch to the cost of the flight, getting the time off work and even booking a flight so late in the day may be an issue to get you there in a week.

In all honesty, we would not advise jetting off half way around the world to meet someone you’ve only known for a few days chatting on a dating site anyway, purely because of the risk factor involved and the danger you may be unwittingly putting yourself in. You will soon learn, either by using your dating site directly, from the forums or via the bounteous knowledge we have posted on dating.org.uk under the tag online dating security that not everyone you meet online is in fact who they say they are

How serious are you about dating online?

There are, in essence, three main types of dating site, with regard to cost. There are free dating sites, mainstream paid dating sites and high-end dating sites, whereby as long as you have the money, your dating site will do everything apart from actually go on the date for you.

We’ll conclude today’s articles with a look at free online dating, it’s positives and negatives and then take a peep at the two types that you’d need to shell out for tomorrow: Should I pay to find my love online?

Free dating sites are great for getting to know the ropes, availing yourself of the types of facilities that you’d expect to find to help you find your Valentine’s Day date online for zero cost. If you’re only looking for a partner for a special occasion and you’re not a paid member of any other dating facility (or the one you’re on is not cutting the mustard), then these sites can be your get-out-of-jail-free card.

Many paid dating sites also have a free section, where you can check out the calibre of their membership (you may only get access to one photo at this level, though), perhaps who’s in your area and, quite obviously, they’ll show you just enough of their website to entice you to put your hand in your pocket and pay for the upgraded facility.

The pitfalls of free dating up next: The common downsides of the free online dating service

Dating site to the rescue

Calls for internet access levels on schools’ browers to be increased may soon be voiced, despite one teenage girl’s registration on a dating site via her homework laptop lead to her discovery after going missing.

When fourteen year-old Hanna Snider disappeared in Sorrento, Maine earlier this week, it was only through the dating site membership on her hard-drive and browsing history that her discovery at a boy’s home in Thomaston was effected so swiftly.

There is only so much protection any school can provide to control what their students access online, even if they do adhere to the CIPA* guidelines to the letter. As it stands, in order for schools and libraries to qualify for certain funding, they have to ensure browsing filters recommended under The Children’s Internet Protection Act are installed and implemented. However, once the student gets home, there are no such governance implications. If there are any limits, they are those imposed by the parents, not any school board.

This is where the onus really passes back to social media platforms and online dating sites to vet sign-ups with more scrutiny. Questions have got to be asked, ‘How did a minor manage to become a member of an internet-based dating community? and ‘What levels of control can social media platforms, singles dating sites, parents and schools enforce to limit minors access, and volumes of contacts once registered, thereon?

In circumstances such as Miss Snider’s, where potentially hundreds of contacts may need to be searched through in case of disappearance, critical time may be lost with so many individuals, be they schoolmates, social media buddies or potential partners on a contact site.
RSU 24, Maine’s appointed regional schoolboard, is aware of the importance of computer safety and its incorporation into the curriculuum, and beyond. As such, it stresses to its pupils’ parents to keep tabs on what they are browsing whilst using the internet at home, especially the more adult contact service or online dating agencies, where the filters applied in the classroom cannot be enforced.

With apps being developed which double-check registrations, and pressure being applied from all areas of society regarding accessibility and exposure on multiple levels of the internet, it could be time that internet dating sites set the precedent by introducing more stringent sign-up methods.

Attention – dating in-line!

Polished boots and buttons, razor-sharp haircuts, pressed khakis and the youthful look a beret invokes makes that private on parade seem like the ideal date.

Who wouldn’t be tempted into a relationship with one of our brave boys and girls? Organised, responsive to instruction, regular income and whilst away at barracks or front-line duty, allows plenty of free time for yourself in the initial courtship stages? Seems too good to be true…
…and perhaps, sometimes, that’s exactly what it is.

There are growing concerns that singles advertising themselves on online dating agencies as being part of Her Majesty’s Forces are nothing of the sort. Evidence is starting to be gathered that some of those purporting to be looking for love on line from the front line are not just members of society with low self-esteem looking to bolster their online dating profile, either.

Rather more sinisterly, there are gangs of confidence tricksters downloading images of our brave forces on active duty ad incorporating the in their profile to gain the sympathy and trust of others using the same matchmaking service.

Predominant in the US, the Criminal Investigation Command serving their forces against such thievery, has formally issued several memos warning both their forces and the online dating community at large about the situation.

In one reported incident, one woman surrendered $127,000 to one such claimant, after being wooed by promises of love, commitment and financial security once the ‘soldier’s’ term of service is over. And this woman is not unlike many other single women looking for romance online in the 30-55 age group, which these gang have identified as being the most vulnerable; she was dragged in by charm, plausibility and an expert ability to ‘pull the right strings’ that these gangs have honed, with practise.

Like so many scams targeted at gaining confidence in the lead up to asking for cold hard cash, these gangs are believed to be operating out of Africa. Whereas in the past, the demands for funds have been disguised as ‘an opportunity to invest’ or emotional blackmailing tactics, this type of online fraud can be a lot more difficult to spot, at first.

If you are genuinely concerned that the person approaching you on your dating site is not all they claim to be, until we are privileged to similar apps available in the US that check government and criminal records against specific dating profile information, in the UK you can check the service history of anyone claiming to be a member of H.M. Forces, Military Genealogy  where there are over two million military service records accessible for free.