Online dating safety tips
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.
Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.
Your identity is precious. Keep it that way with a few simple precautions.
Use the Internet to make calls safely.
Make sure you are safe when meeting someone in person who you met online.
Fraud, when people appeal to your better nature to help them out of an 'unfortunate situation' by sending money.
- Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are. Don't include your surname or any other identifying information such as your place of work either in your profile or when you first make contact.
- Remember that overtly sexual, provocative or controversial usernames could attract the wrong kind of attention.
- Keep contact details private. Stay in control when it comes to how and when you share information. Don't include your contact information such as your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile or initial communications. Take things slowly and share more information when you feel comfortable doing so. It is impossible to get back information once you have given it away.
- Stop communicating with anyone who attempts to pressure you into providing your personal or financial information or who seems to be trying to trick you into providing it. If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too.
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.
Connecting with New People Online
Get to know people, take your time and trust your instincts. Act with caution and learn more about someone before contacting him or her outside of the dating site. Use Nayamilan’s mail and chat so you can get to know people in a safer and [monitored/controlled] way. We do this to protect you, not to make money. Use our platform and the added security it gives. If and when you do decide to share an e-mail address think about creating a separate and anonymous email address.
- Sometimes when you're excited about someone, your instincts can be confused by strong feelings. Take care and take your time when you talk about yourself. You don’t need to give out your life-story the first time you chat – and you shouldn’t. There will be plenty of time to share such details if your relationship develops.
Money Requests Are Your Red Light
- Why would someone need to borrow money off somebody they have never met, or only just met? There is no reason for anyone to ask you for money or your financial information, whatever sad or sob story they give. Always keep your bank and account information private. Stop all contact immediately and report the matter to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report Unacceptable or Suspicious Behaviour
- Nobody should have to put up with offensive, insulting and threatening behaviour online any more than they should or would if talking to someone in a bar or café. Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to us as you are helping us to monitor and block users with such behaviours.
Play it safe when you meet face-to-face
Be smart and stay safe. Going on a date with someone new is an exciting step in a relationship, but continue being careful. Even if you feel you have become closer to someone via email and phone, you should still remember that this person is largely a stranger to you. Therefore, it is important that when meeting someone in person, whether it is your first or fifth date, you take precautions and consider these dos and don'ts.
1. Plan it carefully.
It’s your date. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. Don’t feel pressured to meet before you’re ready or for any longer than you’re comfortable with – a short first date is fine.
2. Meet in public.
The safest plan is to meet somewhere public and stay somewhere public. Make your own way there and back and don’t feel pressured to go home with your date. If you feel ready to move to a private environment, make sure your expectations match your date’s.
3. Get to know the person, not the profile.
The way people interact online isn’t always the same face-to-face. Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. or if things don’t progress as fast face-to-face.
4. Don’t leave drinks or personal items unattended
Know where your drink comes from and know where it is at all times — only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bartender or server. Many substances that are slipped into drinks to facilitate sexual assault are odourless, colourless, and tasteless. Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, and anything containing personal information on you at all times.
5. Not going well? Make your excuses and leave.
Don’t feel bad about cutting a date short if you’re not keen. You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested.
SEXUAL HEALTH & CONSENT
When used correctly and consistently, condoms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting and passing on STI’s like HIV. But, be aware of STIs like herpes or HPV that can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact. The risk of contracting some STIs can be reduced through vaccination.
Know Your Status
Not all STIs show symptoms, and you don’t want to be in the dark about your status. Stay on top of your health and prevent the spread of STIs by getting tested regularly.
Talk About It
Communication is everything: Before you get physically intimate with a partner, talk about sexual health and STI testing. And be aware — in some places, it’s actually a crime to knowingly pass on an STI.
All sexual activity must start with consent and should include ongoing check-ins with your partner. Verbal communication can help you and your partner ensure that you respect each other’s boundaries. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and sex is never owed to anyone. Do not proceed if your partner seems uncomfortable or unsure, or if your partner is unable to consent due to the effects of drugs or alcohol.
Beware of Scammers
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.
Advice for avoiding scammers
- Never ever respond to a request for money.
- Never give out bank account or other details.
- Beware of the sob story - someone telling you how much they want to visit you but need a loan to pay for the ticket/visas. Or stories about a desperately ill family member who needs help with medical expenses.
- The same goes for fantastic too good to be true business deal they are in on – if only they had some extra up-front money.
- Watch out for those profiles that immediately tug on heart strings – supposed ex-serviceman or woman, or those who claim to be recently widowed to gain your trust and sympathy.
- Don’t let the passing of time cloud your judgment. These sorts of pitches may take time to come out in messages, time in which you may very well have come to trust and value a relationship with your online contact. That does not make them any less of a lie.
- Our same warning goes for pleas of urgency – about money needed at short notice. Someone asking you to use a wire service to get money to them is up to no good.
- Be wary of long distance and overseas relationships: They can happen but it is an unlikely way for a relationship to start offline so be wary online.
- Notice if a contact seems out of touch or out of kilter: people offering foreign numbers for contact, people who seem not to be aware of things happening in the UK – events, the weather etc, people who want or need to send messages at unusual hours.
- Be wary if someone seems vague in their communication about their interests, or may often repeat things or seem disconnected. They may dodge questions or make excuses for not meeting or speaking on the telephone. Their profile or communications may also have odd spelling and grammar.
- Do not share pictures or information about yourself or others that gives someone any sort of hold over you. Your private life should stay private until you know someone really well and can start over time to trust them with things.
- If you do find someone trying to menace money out of you – don’t. They’d just be back for more. Report them; however bad that might feel at the time. The Police have national and local teams there to attack fraudsters. Let them protect you – and others.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a friend – if you start to commit to a relationship online or in person it can be hard to stay objective. If a contact starts to feel strange and especially if money gets raised you might ask a friend or relative if you are not at a point where you think there is something to report to the dating service. If they advise you to back off ... listen to them.
Reporting a concern or problem
Don’t assume scammers are illiterate foreigners you and others will see through in an instant. Scamming is a pretty sick line of business but it is a business for them. They practice tugging at heartstrings, at showing tenderness or a neediness. They tell people what they want to hear.
If you suspect that someone you're talking to may be a scammer, stop your communications and immediately report him or her. You should never feel too stupid or ashamed to report someone. You are not the person who should be ashamed and stopped. Please email us at email@example.com