Thursday, November 24, 2011

Searching for a Date Online*

With the increasing use of technology to socialize and communicate, it is no wonder that cyberspace has become a haven for people wanting to find romance. Many matchmaking or dating sites lure those who want to love and be loved into trying their services. Dangers in Internet dating are often downplayed or not discussed at all. For the newbie or the hopeless romantic, it is best to be informed of the dangers of finding a possible lover or life partner in the virtual world to avoid getting involved in dating and relationship scams.

About Online Dating: The Dangers and The Business  

Current statistics show that there are almost 2 billion online users worldwide, including those who use chat engines and who have joined dating websites to find a potential mate. However, subscribers of these dating sites - whether free or paid - should be aware that their personal data are shared with advertisers and are not essentially secure. One such incident is the recent hacking of dating site To address such safety issue, Cupid Media's unit on fraud prevention launched "" to help searchers protect themselves from unscrupulous site users.

Online dating is a profitable niche.

Nevertheless, according to, a company that provides online privacy softwares, sites like "hide the fact that they’re swapping your information across the web deep within lengthy privacy policies or terms of use." Moreover, everything posted on these sites remains "archived indefinitely", even when accounts are deleted or when site ownerhsip has been changed.

In addition, online dating sites appear to be a profitable venture for the people behind it., a social dating site promoted on Facebook, discloses that, as of December 2010, the industry has reached a global worth of US $4 billion. In "The Big Business of Online Dating" (2010), Media Money's Julia Boorstin notes the increase in membership base in spite of economic downturns. 

Susan Carpenter of Los Angeles Times likewise observes said phenomenon in her article "No Recession for Online Dating Sites" (2008). Based on her interview with one of's researchers, Carpenter notes that "[s]tressful times can have a big effect on people's desire to be in relationships." Thus, online dating sites not only capitalize on the human need to have an intimate relationship, but as well as commercialize the process of finding that partner. 

*Read the continuation of this post here - The Dangers of the Internet - Online Predators and Lawsuits Against Online Dating Websites. The third and last part of this piece is Safety Tips While Finding a Date in Cyberspace.

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