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A lot of people take their time getting to really get to know a prospective partner before beginning a romantic relationship.

For others, it can happen much quicker than that, but be wary of people on dating sites who say they are “in love” after just a few days of chatting.

According to the organization, numerous dating sites--which are for-profit businesses, after all--sell data on their customers to third parties, including Google and Facebook.

Furthermore, many online dating sites suffer from poor information security practices and may not delete profiles or images in a timely manner.

Online dating websites may also allow third-party search engines to index your profile.

Notably, a public profile for Julian Assange, the editor in chief of Wiki Leaks, was discovered in late 2010 on the free dating website Ok Cupid.

Beware online dating websites, at least when it comes to their data privacy practices.

That warning comes by way of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit group devoted to protecting digital rights.

The same goes for your phone number, full name and even your Facebook profile which can, of course, give away a huge amount of personal information to anyone who cares to take a look at it (also read our 5 tips to make your Facebook account safer).

Perhaps influenced by the approaching Halloween, the first in a scary-looking series of images puts forward one of the key myths about signing up to a dating site: Always be cautious about the people you meet online, especially if they start asking for money to help a family member, to visit you or pay medical bills etc.

Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don't know and trust.

Does this mean that you should shut down the computer, head to your bedroom with a bucket of chocolate chip ice cream, and forget about the whole idea of finding your ideal match? It simply means that you need to take the risks seriously and do what’s needed to protect yourself.

Some of the most popular dating sites have taken steps to help protect their members, but there is a constant influx of both men and women who seek to take advantage of lonely – and sometimes desperate – individuals who use these services.


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