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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

Looking for a Date for Valentine’s Day Online? Try Your Identity.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a significant other to spend Valentine's Day with. While this may mean you get to save a few dollars on bouquets of roses or boxes of chocolate leading up to the holiday, you may still feel the urge to embark on a romantic encounter of your own so that you're not alone during the holiday.

One extremely popular way that people meet potential love interests is via an online dating service. These listings allow singles to make profiles that describe their winning attributes and peruse the pages of other users to determine their compatibility. Given the hectic schedules of many singles in this day and age, an online dating service may fit their needs to a tee and allow them to meet others while sitting behind a desk.

There are even a whole bevy of niche dating websites that allow users to zero in even further on potential love interests. If you are looking for a date on Valentine's Day who has the same specific interests as you, for example, there could be a site out there that will help you find the perfect match.

If the site sounds obscure, it may not be worth your while
Not all of these dating websites are created equal, however, and the success rate varies greatly depending on which site you use. Some websites that offer online coupling don't actually have real members at all, but are actually fronts for large scam operations looking to steal your identity.

If you sign up for a dating site that asks you to pay for its services, be wary before handing over your credit information. Only visit websites that either sound familiar to you or that have been recommended by friends. You also want to be sure that you only type in personal information on sites that have recognizable security members in place to shield what you input from being viewed by an outside party. On most search engines, a website like this will have a small lock in the browser bar that is green as well as the font color of the first part of the Web address (the "https://" portion).

Be proactive before you even make a profile
This is true of every website that you visit that asks you for things like your credit card or banking information. Invest in a credit monitoring service before embarking on any adventure in online dating so that you will be alerted to any strange activity that takes place in your name. If you suspect that this activity may be the work of an identity thief, you can then take action to stop the damage to your credit score as soon as possible.