1) Use common sense and pay attention to your gut reaction. This is often the Holy Spirit in you, warning you that things may not be right.
2) If he or she sounds too good to be true, he or she probably is to good to be true and isn’t being truthful on his or her profile.
3) Listen and watch (by video) for signs of a temper, control, etc. and run for the hills if you sense this person needs therapy first. You aren’t going to change him or her. Let the person get help.
4) Use a free email account with family name and something else. This way a person cannot search all your personal details.
5) Ask for a RECENT picture and encourage the person to send candid shots for more realism. You don’t want major surprises when you meet. Awkward!
6) If any one asks for money, do not give it. Most likely you are being scammed.
7) Don’t reveal details of your personal life too soon and be careful what you reveal.
9) If you do have a home phone, don’t give out the number. Use your cell phone.
10) Some people have a great deal of social awkwardness at meeting others. If you meet and it feels awkward, you may want to give it another chance to see if the person settles down and is interesting.
11) Meet in a public space the first time.
12) Don’t use a provocative handle to get interest. The interest you get is not the kind of interest you want.
13) Don’t go into questionable chat rooms.
14) Use Skype (and other visual media) to actually see each other if the relationship progresses. You get more information when you can observe nonverbal behavior.
15) Think about how your photos may be used. Once you send them to the cyberspace, people can use them however they want. And get permission from any person who might be in a photo with you. Better yet, crop that person out of the photo. It violates his or her privacy.
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