- Never disclose private information on online dating sites.
- Be very careful about how and when you meet people in person.
- Take every precaution that profiles you are looking at are genuine.
- Never be tempted to send or transfer money to people you meet online, however unfortunate their story.
Be selective when choosing a username
You don’t have to use your name, your location, age… or anything else about yourself.
Giving yourself an online persona makes it easier to cut ties if you decide you want out.
Password & Security
– Be careful when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can’t view or record your password or personal information.
– Be wary of opening email attachments from someone you have only just met
– Ensure that you keep your internet security software up to date.
Dont Rush Things
The NCA report says that in more than half of the sexual assault cases reported there were communications of a sexual nature before they met.
It is easy to open up to people online. It can almost feel as though you are freer to be more emotionally honest.
But be careful. Don’t let your instincts become confused by excitement and strong feelings.
The person you are talking to is still a stranger.
Be Responsible and do your own Research
– There is a limit to an online dating provider’s ability to check the backgrounds of users and verify the information they provide. They cannot do a criminal records check on every user. And a person can become a problem without having a record. Therefore, don’t get a false sense of security because you’re on a dating site; do your own research to learn more about someone and make informed decisions before you decide to meet. Check to see if the person you’re interested in is on other social networking sites like Facebook, do a web search to see if there are other records of the person online, and if possible use google image search to check the profile photos.
Take a step back and think – is this normal behaviour?
It wouldn’t be normal for a person in the street to ask to borrow money.
It’s not acceptable on a dating site either.
And it’s not just money to think about either – if they are asking personal or uncomfortable questions you don’t have to answer.
Be sure to tell someone about your plans
You have been talking to this person online for a while now, and you’ve both decided you want to meet up.
That’s totally fine – just think about how and where.
Meet them somewhere public and tell someone where you are going.
Don’t feel any pressure to go back to their house, or invite them home to yours – the NCA reports 72% of offences were committed at the victim’s or offender’s home.
Sadly, people aren’t always what they seem. Dating sites, social networks and other internet services are targeted by scammers. Scammers want one thing and one thing only – money. Here are a few examples of common scammer behaviours to watch out for and report:
1. Declarations of love – If someone you are in contact with starts declaring their love for you within a matter of weeks (or even days or hours), be cautious. You need to know someone to come to love them. Instant messages of love could be someone trying to get right into your life, possibly for all the wrong reasons. Use common sense and don’t be afraid to speak to a friend to get a second opinion.
2. Requests for money – This really should send alarm bells ringing whatever the form the request comes in. Scammers will look to gain your sympathy with the stories they tell.
3. Someone offering you money – Who gives money away to strangers through a dating site? These are always scams. The same goes for anyone with a sure-fire get rich quick schemes. The only one trying to get rich quick is the scammer as he or she fishes for your bank details or other financial information.
4. Threats and blackmail – These are ugly words. But some scammers have tried to threaten money out of people for not showing pictures, webcam footage or messages that they have managed to get out of users online.