Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dating Safety Tips from eHarmony

So I'm on eHarmony. I don't have nearly as many funny stories as I did from Match. The eHarmony stories are actually kind of sad. It's like this is such a good guy, but we're not compatible at all, but I'm not here to talk to y'all about that. Let's talk about dating safety.

eHarmony makes you go through a long process before you can email someone. Then they give you these guidelines that you must read and agree to in order to talk to the person. They need to package these up and sell them to parents. Actually, they need to give them to parents and college students and young professionals and newly divorced people as a PSA. In this Google-everything world we live in, dating can be scary. These are some of the best and safest dating "guidelines" I've ever seen.

Kudos to eHarmony! 

Check out the guidelines below: 

eHarmony Mail Guidelines

Finding the kind of love that lasts a lifetime online is not only possible, but likely. eHarmony works hard to deliver you the most compatible matches possible. We believe in empowering you to make the best choices by providing guidance and support to help you discover your best qualities and those of your potential partners throughout your search.

As with anyone you meet - online or offline - your sound judgment and instincts are necessary to protect yourself. There is no substitution for acting with caution when communicating with someone you are just getting to know. Here are some essential 'rules-of-the-road' for safely navigating any relationship, but especially one that begins online.

1. Always Use Your Best Judgment

While eHarmony routinely monitors account activity and investigates all complaints of unusual, inappropriate or falsified accounts, eHarmony does not conduct criminal background checks at the time an account is registered. As with any personal interaction, keep in mind it is always possible for people to misrepresent themselves. Assessing a match's truthfulness and honesty is ultimately your responsibility. Don't ignore any facts that seem inconsistent or "off." Trust your instincts and remember that you have control over the situation. If you're talking to someone online or by phone and they say things that raise your suspicions, consider ending the conversation. If you're out on a date and you feel uncomfortable, leave.
Also, be aware of these common red flags when you're getting to know someone new. Watch out for someone who:
  • Immediately requests to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service.
  • Claims that your introduction was "destiny" or "fate," especially early in communication
  • Claims to be from the U.S. but is currently living, working, or traveling abroad.
  • Asks for money, goods or any similar type of assistance, especially if you have never met in person.
  • Asks you to assist with personal transactions (depositing funds, shipping merchandise, etc).
  • Wants the relationship to progress faster than you are comfortable going.
  • Reports a sudden personal crisis and pressures you to provide financial assistance. Be especially wary if the person's demands become increasingly aggressive.
  • Asks inappropriate questions.
  • Requests your home or work address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts.
  • Tells inconsistent or grandiose stories.
  • Gives vague answers to specific questions.
  • Urges you to compromise your principles.
  • Constantly blames others for troubles in his or her life.
  • Insists on getting overly close, very fast.
  • Claims to be recently widowed.
  • Disappears suddenly from the site then reappears under a different name.
If a match does any of the above activities or makes you suspicious in any other way, please report this as a Match Concern by emailing matchconcerns@eharmony.com so that we can investigate the matter.

2. NEVER Share Financial Information or Certain Personal Information

  • NEVER give out your credit card number or bank information.
  • NEVER share your Social Security Number, mother's maiden name, or other private information that can be used to access your financial information.
  • NEVER send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer. Immediately stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it.
Immediately stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it.

3. Protect Your Account

When accessing your account from a public or shared computer, use caution and be aware of your surroundings so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information.

4. Be Cautious When Sharing Personal Information

We strongly encourage you to be cautious when sharing personal information that could reveal your identity. Never include your last name, email address, home address, telephone number, place of work or any other identifying information in your Internet profile or initial email messages. Take full advantage of our secure and completely anonymous Guided Communication process, and resist the urge to provide a personal email or phone number right away, no matter how strong a connection to your match may feel. Once you've given out personal information, you cannot take it back! We encourage you to get to know a match well via our secure eHarmony Mail system before taking the next step and sharing a telephone number, instant messenger handle or email address.
Phoning with the other person is an important step in getting to know each other better. But before you share phone numbers, make sure you have discussed the need to respect each other's privacy. If either of you decide to end communication in the future, agree not to use the phone number as a means to pursue an unwanted relationship. For added security, try using your phone's privacy features when you call, like private number blocking. You also have the option to use eHarmony's Secure Call service that allows you and your match to call each other without exchanging phone numbers right away.

5. Do Your Own Research

While we conduct certain types of screening and utilize a variety of screening technologies and resources, such as screening our U.S. subscribers against public sex offender registries in the United States, it is important to remember that such screenings are inherently limited. Registries can be incomplete or inaccurate, and states and jurisdictions differ as to what type of crime must be registered on their registries and what types of crimes get removed. Many crimes often go unreported and perpetrators are not always convicted. Relying solely on screening can provide a false sense of security, so we strongly recommend that you follow the rest of the Safety Tips regardless of any screenings that we may perform. When it comes to your personal safety, you are in ultimate control.
It is also important to note that our optional identity verification service, which is powered by our partner RelyID?, is not a background check. We rely on the honesty of our members when filling out our eHarmony Relationship Questionnaire to supply us with their correct date of birth, marital status, city and state of residence, occupation, educational background and other information.
Regardless of the connection you feel with any of your matches, we encourage you to do your own research before meeting in person. This can include typing your match's name into a search engine, contacting your state or local municipalities to obtain public information, or using a paid serviceto obtain a full background report. Above all else, use common sense. Pay attention to the details someone shares with you. If you find anything that doesn't seem to add up, follow your intuition and stop communicating with that person.

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