Online dating safety tips

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By Jasmine Norwood

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Online dating has received a lot of attention since Raymond Holycross, the alleged ‘Internet Casanova,’ was exposed. One cyber dating expert says don’t throw in the towel, just be smart about it.

From free sites like Plenty of Fish to sites that charge like Match.com, online dating is very popular.

But be careful and be smart about it.

One tip is not to share financial information.

“People are much more vulnerable after a break up when their hearts are broken. You should not be sharing financial information with anybody because you don't know them that well,” said Julie Spira author of The Perils of Cyber Dating.

Spira says the best way to protect yourself is to make sure you don't seem vulnerable.

“Keep it short, don't make it a novel, no more than a paragraph in the ‘About me’ section. We don't want to hear about your break up, we don't want to hear about someone who has done you wrong,” said Spira.

Another key to success is taking the relationship from a computer to the real world as soon as possible.

It’s much easier to judge chemistry and character in person.

“Set up a date and meet in person and meet in a public place. Let a girlfriend know exactly where you are going, screen name of the person, site you met them on,” said Spira.

Elizabeth Tenney says she was a Holycross victim. She says if something doesn’t add up – dig deeper.

“When we were chatting online he would be saying stuff like you're out of my league which I thought was weird because here’s a guy that supposedly attended Notre Dame, why would he be insecure, looking back I can see that that was a red flag,” said Tenney.

One thing that both the expert and the victim say is to take your time getting to know someone, whether it’s on line or in person, do not open you heart or your wallet too quickly,
 

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