Safety is one of the most prevalent concerns among users of online dating websites. Online daters want assurance that their personal information will stay confidential and that their identities will stay secure, so most dating web sites provide safety guidelines for their users.
But deception is not limited to dating sites.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year, and thousands of cases of computer hacking, pornography, Internet harassment and more are reported through the U.S. Department of Justice.
This past week, the New York Post reported an extreme form of Internet fraud on Facebook. A man posing as a phony New Yorker named Dylan Sorvino used a memorial photo of fallen Army Ranger Sgt. Roberto Sanchez to seduce women online. The Internet schemer used the late 24-year-old’s photo as his Facebook profile picture and told women that he grew up in New York, studied law and enlisted in the Army to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It wasn’t until a woman saw Sanchez’s photo on a military web site and recognized him from Sorvino’s Facebook page that the scam was reported.
While instances like this are unpreventable, there are steps you can take to protect yourself on any social networking site. Here are some general tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding safe social networking:
- Limit the amount of personal information you post
- Remember that the Internet is a public resource
- Be wary of strangers
- Be skeptical
- Evaluate your settings
- Use strong passwords
- Check privacy policies
- Use and maintain anti-virus software
CatholicMatch strives to create a safe environment for you to meet fellow Catholic singles, but it’s up to you to protect your identity and those around you.