PLAYING it safe online could be the difference between finding love or heartache.
Experts say providing basic information, meeting in public places and honesty are the keys to internet dating success.
Social media academic Celeste Lawson said Rockhampton's lonely residents could connect with people who shared their dreams and aspirations, thanks to the internet.
"It provides a wider opportunity for people to link with like-minded people," the Central Queensland University communications professor said.
Dr Lawson, who spent 14 years in the Queensland police force, said it was important to stay safe.
"It is so easy to steal someone's identity online," she said.
"I wouldn't be revealing a lot of personal details to someone I didn't know.
"Credit card numbers, date of birth - things that online trolls could use to create another identity."
Dr Lawson said the internet was a double-edged sword.
"Social media provides a level of anonymity that you don't get in a face-to-face relationship and that can mean it's easier to lie about yourself or your circumstances," she said.
Lying about your age, job or relationship status could open up a world-wide web of trouble.
Women are the key culprits in one of the latest misleading trends.
Beautyheaven.com.au research shows 57% of Australian women enhance their photos.
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