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Company Offers Web-Based Escape From Bad Date

Secure Networks USA LLC says it has just the escape route for painful dates: A plea you can pre-arrange online before your encounter.

Here's how it works: Before your date, go on the Internet and scribble a message to friends and family. Set the time for the message to be sent — by cell phone, e-mail or instant messaging.

If the date is going well, cancel the message by logging on to the Internet from your cell phone. If you don't cancel, your friends will spring into action, such as by placing a call that could give you an excuse to say an emergency has come up.

Secure Networks said it introduced the Secure Singles free notification system because it was "alarmed by the prevalence of dating disasters and online predator stories that continue to be reported around the world."

What if the date is going well and you forget to cancel the SOS?

Jenny Gilcrest, a spokeswoman for the San Diego-based company, said friends would call and learn that it was a false alarm.

Of course, that interruption might have killed that passionate moment.