Online dating sites require you to sign up their registration before you can avail their services. Some of them require payment but most of them are for free. When you join a dating site, just give least details about you. By this you can protect yourself from crimes like identity theft. Never provide your full name, contact number, address, or workplace upon registration. There are sites that give access to anybody to view your profile thus you can be a favorite subject by stalkers. As much as possible use a new email address and you can have one for free. This will protect your personal email account from receiving unsolicited email messages that are usually tagged as spam.
When you are currently exchanging emails, chats, or any sort of conversation to a person that interests you, ask for recent pictures. Through these photographs, you'll be able to assess whether the person describes himself or herself properly. You may also save few pictures in your computer so that if something goes wrong along the way then the authorities will have a lead on their investigation. If the person claims to be a professional, then you may request to see his or her diploma to confirm the legitimacy of his or her claim. Of course, your requests should be in a nice and tactful manner. You don't want to look like a person with too much suspicion.
As your conversations flow smoothly and decided to meet in person, you should proceed with extreme caution. Although meeting up is the best way to know the person well, still you are risking yourself unto another level. But if you are pretty confident with that person safeguard yourself at all times. Meet in a public place and if possible, choose a place that you are very familiar with. Do not allow to be picked up at your house or workplace. Inform a friend about your meeting and it is much better if you can pick one to go along with you. If you are going alone, allow your friend to call you on a specific time to check that everything is alright and you can even use it as your exit if you do not like your initial personal interaction. Above anything else, trust your instinct. If you feel uneasy about it, abort your meeting but inform the other person in a timely manner.