The Art of Safe Online Dating Regulating Users’ Behaviour: eHarmony

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eHarmony advertises itself as “The #1 Trusted Singles Online Dating Site”. This kind of Social Networks are a one of kind Web 2.0 applications, because they strive to introduce strangers, help them to find a match and start a long-term relationship. That is, help strangers to connect and create a relationship in the real world! So safety is a number one priority for the site and the compliance of the rules by the members becomes an important issue, as the reputation of eHarmony depends on that and ultimately they are dealing with the physical integrity of the members. How eHarmony regulates the behaviour of the users?

First of all, the Risk Management division is committed to preserve safety. They are involved in mitigating the risks of being part of the social network. They have several approaches to regulate behaviour of users:

Publish rules to stay out of trouble: common sense advice is given to the community in regards to how to go about contacting, meeting and getting to know other people. Here are some of the tips from the eHarmony Australia website:

  • Always use your best judgment: people looking for love tends to get blind about con intents from fake prospect partners. The cheats make use of this tendency to take advantage of the situation as can be seen in this video.
  • Never share financial information or certain personal information: with the pretext of trying to find out more about a person life, the cheats ask questions to find information that could be used to break into financial accounts. Click here to watch the in-person phishing con video.
  • Be cautious when sharing personal information: some people feel the need to rush to get to know better the other person and hastily share personal contact information such as, phone numbers and emails. That could result in people being harrassed as they don’t know each others’ temperament yet. For that, eHarmony advises to go through a step by step communication process that eventually would lead to a secure call made by the system where neither the person calling or the one receiving can see each other’s phone numbers.
  • Do your own research: even though there is some screening carried out by eHarmony with authorities, they have a disclaimer saying that the information could be out-of-date. They encourage people to make their own reseach before meeting the other in person by typing the match’s name into a search engine, contacting local autohorities to obtain public information, or using a paid service to obtain a full background report.
  • Make your first date safe and successful
  • Always be respectful and kind

The risk management division of eHarmony receives concerns about a match and undertake proper investigation on the issue that could lead to cancelation of accounts and escalation to authorities.

Finally, eHarmony also works closely with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to identify and combat online fraud in Australia. As such, if there is a belief that one of the matches could be a fraud suspect, in addition to reporting to eHarmony, they encourage to file a report with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website at: www.ScamWatch.gov.au.

In this way the online quest for love becomes safe and people can focus in finding their soul mate!