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Online dating services to screen sex offenders – what should individuals do to protect themselves?

Mar 21, 2012
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A user signs up for eHarmony’s online dating srevice. Credit: VideoVillain/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a joint agreement yesterday with eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks, operators of websites such as JDate and ChristianMingle, that the online dating companies will screen subscribers against national sex offender registries and create a quick reporting system for members.

The new system, which has already been implemented, aims to ensure that any member who is identified as a registered sex offender will be barred from using the services. But obviously, there are still risks involved, as no system can be perfect. The onus still falls on the individual to protect his or her own self.

WEIGH IN:

What precautions do you take using these sites to ensure your safety? Do you have any tips for other users? What have you learned in your experience in online dating that has made you a better, and safer, dater?

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