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The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining.

However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.

The Risks Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.

Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Viruses & Spyware A basic understanding of computer viruses and spyware.

Therefore, don't get a false sense of security because you're on a dating site; do your own research to learn more about someone and make informed decisions before you decide to meet.

Connecting With New People Online Get to know people, take your time and trust your instincts.

Act with caution and learn more about someone before contacting him or her outside of the dating site.

Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.

Inclusion of the ODA's logo on the site indicates membership.

Commonsense guide successful internet dating