Does the dating personals company protect your information?Do they sell your email address to "like-minded companies"?Also take a peek at the dating personals terms of use page, if they have one. Some dating personals sites now check singles' names against legal documents to see if they are married, incarcerated or have a criminal record.

They've gone so far as suing convicted sex offenders for attempting to sign up at their dating personals site.

A simple way to check the age and veracity of any dating personals website is to look for the copyright date.

If it's older than the current year, you may want to look elsewhere.

Users could be sexual predators, convicted criminals, or dating scam artists just waiting to meet the right person to be taken advantage of.

Here are some points to consider when signing up at a dating personals site, so that you don't get burned by someone with less-than-reputable intentions.

Does the dating personals site you are browsing at have a privacy policy?

Usually you'll find a link towards the bottom of the page.

By Bonny Albo Wherever you go lately on the Internet, you'll probably run into a dating personals site advertising free access.

With the recent explosion in free dating sites, it's definitely hard to keep up.

What the people who sign up for these dating personals services are getting, essentially, is a way to have complete strangers contact them.

But what most singles don't realize is that dating personals sites don't screen their 'free' membership - they offer a trial to anyone who decides to stop in.