Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.Inclusion of the ODA's logo on the site indicates membership.

Password & Security - Be careful when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.

- Be wary of opening email attachments from someone you have only just met - Ensure that you keep your internet security software up to date.

The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining.

However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.

Be Responsible and do your own Research - There is a limit to an online dating provider’s ability to check the backgrounds of users and verify the information they provide.

They cannot do a criminal records check on every user.

Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested. If you’re raped or sexually assaulted on your date, help is available.

Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to the dating service. The safest plan is to meet somewhere public and stay somewhere public. Make your own way there and back and don’t feel pressured to go home with your date. The way people interact online isn’t always the same face-to-face. No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a crime.

You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. If you feel ready to move to a private environment, make sure your expectations match your date’s. Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. Police and charities are here to help and support you.