Our duty to keep members safe online

As a paid online dating business, we’re in the fortunate position to be able to do everything we can to keep consumers safe. We’re proud to be able to provide the highest level of care and we’re one of the only businesses in the industry with our own in-house customer service team. But unfortunately, that’s not always enough.

I was saddened to read a report from the NCA this weekend that disclosed that in 2014, 184 reported sexual assaults were linked to online dating. This number is low in comparison to the number of people using online dating products with 27% of new relationships now starting online, but even just one sexual assault is one too many.

As dating providers, it is our responsibility to protect our members as best we can. They invest time, money and their emotional wellbeing in our products with the hope of finding friendship and love. In return, we owe it to them to deliver a safe online dating experience.

We build dating products because we care about helping people make meaningful connections; that’s why Venntro invests so much in customer care.

Our customer care team work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide on-demand care to our members all around the world and our dedicated moderation team screen all user-generated content to confirm profiles submitted are genuine. This often stops members ever coming into contact with a scammer.

But how much we can keep members safe stops when they go on to leave the comfort of our dating site or take the plunge and go on their first date.

By using a paid online dating service like our recently launched site,SomethingSerious.com, which was created for those looking for meaningful online dating experiences, consumers can take comfort in knowing that the site offers a high level of protection — to date, we’ve seen that users really respond to this. They can also rest assured that the other people using the site are as invested as they are in finding a new partner.

However, as dating providers, where we can really make a difference is by educating consumers about how to stay safe online.

In addition to anti-scammer measures checks, we send all members safety advice when they first sign up to a site on our platform with details on how to stay safe both online, and offline. We also have safety tips in the footer of every site on our platform and send regular email campaigns offering safety advice.

Meeting someone online is still safer than meeting someone in a bar — we have their credit card information, their email address, photos — but we still endeavour to do more to teach consumers how to have a safe online dating experience.

The Online Dating Association is doing an excellent job of rallying the industry on this, and we’re adding our voice to the call. As dating providers in an industry worth $2 billion globally, we need to do more to provide members with the protection they deserve.

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