Take your time – do not rush into things Take your time to try to get to know the person online first.Everyone can put their best cyber-foot forward in the first couple of e-mails. Make sure you keep the old e-mails to compare the information they give you.In one e-mail, they might tell you they work for the postal service, in another that they are a student – make sure you check out these inconsistencies.

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There are always risks in dating, especially when you date strangers (blind dates, first dates and cyber-dates). You should not give any more information to a first cyberdate than you would to a stranger you meet on a plane, or in a club, or in a bar.

Cyberdating is a little different from the other first dates, though.

Women tend to lie about their weight or age, while men tend to lie about their income, level of baldness and athletic condition. The one rule you can count on is that everyone lies a little. That photo they sent you may be five years old, heavily doctored up with a graphics program, from when they used to be thin or when they had hair, or of someone else altogether.

Do not give out personal information online Personal information that would let someone find you offline would never be shared online.

Your full name, where you work, where you live, your phone number (see my note on giving out your phone number), your fax number…these should not be shared online.

Use an online dating service that uses an anonymizer or re-mailer to mask your real e-mail, or set up a Hotmail or other free account just for dating online.

Cyber romance can quickly turn to cyberstalking – it is better to be able to terminate that particular account than to have to set up a new main account, and notify everyone you know.

The best thing about the Internet is also the most dangerous – a person’s personality can show through, what you are inside gets a chance to shine without getting overpowered by what you are outside.

But, the cues we use in life; body language, dress, personal hygiene, tone of voice…the way we judge the truth of statements…are lost in cyberspace. However, that said, many people have found love online so, if you’re still interested in trying to find your soul mate, here are a few safety tips: Do not believe everything you read online You can be anything or anyone you want to be online.

I keep trying to get people to believe that I am tall, blonde and gorgeous! That cute brunette 24-year-old guy may not be cuter, may not be 24 and most importantly, may not be a guy.

There is not truth in advertising protection when you date online.