Digital Dating; How To Stay Safe Online

Digital Dating; How To Stay Safe Online

This week is ‘Get Safe Online Week’ and in celebration of this event I have written the following post on staying safe online.

The Internet Watch Foundation released figures earlier this week which revealed that many sexually explicit images and videos, which were intended for private use only, are being uploaded to internet porn sites. This trend is being blamed on the careless way in which these images are being uploaded.

If you enjoy online dating but do not want to become a victim of this upsetting and ever increasing trend; read on!

Tips for Staying Safe Online:

Before you choose a dating site be sure to do plenty of research. Ask your friends for their recommendations, research the company behind the site and read online reviews. Once you have identified a handful of potential sites try them out and see which works for you. If you decide to stick to one site make sure that you deactivate your profiles on the other sites. You don’t want to leave any information about yourself on a website which you do not use.

Take things really slowly. If you do decide that you want to meet someone for a coffee then arrange to meet in a busy coffee shop at a time when you know plenty of people will be around. You may also like to let a friend or family member know where you are going and ask them to call during the meet up to make sure everything is ok. If the person doesn’t seem right for you then you can use the call as an excuse to beat a hasty retreat!

Don’t give out any contact info until you have met the person; so no email address and no mobile number. You should never ever EVER give out your home address or bank details to anyone you meet online until you have been in a relationship with them for at least a month. You just don’t know who these people are. If they are half decent then they will understand your reluctance to share personal information.

Don’t feel pressured into sending explicit images or videos of yourself using your mobile or over Skype. If someone is asking for these images the chances are they’re some kind of perve!

Don’t share your passwords with anyone. It sounds really simple but so many people do not choose secure passwords and do not have a password protected laptop or computer. Choose a password which contains letters and numbers and change it once every month or so.

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Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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