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Safe online communication

1. First contact

If your first contact with someone was over (or similar site), with the option to exchange private messages, this is plenty enough for starting communication. Bear in mind that the person at the other end may not be as is portrayed. Listen to your instincts; if you have doubts about the person you are communicating with, then your doubts might be well founded. Remember, as in the real world, commmon sense is the best tool you can use to protect your safety and happiness.

2. Protecting your privacy

Your privacy should always come first. Information or data from providing possibility to discover your identity (surname, e-mail address, home address, work address etc.) should never be published in your profile, photographs or any other content which is accessible to others. Think carefully about breaking contact with people who insist on discovering such information.

3. Use common sense

Through smart thinking you can make successful contacts. Have standard levels of trust and confidence and make them clear. From a correspondent you have the right to expect that your confidence is abided in each step through consistent and honest behaviour. Do not become too intimate too quickly with a correspondent, even though contact may be being conducted strictly via the Internet. If you suspect that a correpondent may be lying, proceed with caution until you are convinced.

4. Ask questions

We encourage users to check out people they are interested in. Ask questions, seek answers and then try an Internet search for confirmation. Use common sense, it's the best protection against bad intention.

5. Ask for photographs

Photographs are a good way to evaluate someone's seriousness. Ask for a few photos in a variety of surroundings, and you may find if the person you are communicating with has anything to hide. Also be ready to send photos, if requested by someone who is appealing to you. Just to reaffirm, hide or disguise your face in such photographs but place some proof of authenticity (perhaps a piece of paper with a personal message or with your username written on it).

6. Telephone conversation

A telephone conversation is a good way to find out more about the person you are communicating with. Should you decide to give the other person your telephone number, it's best to use a mobile number. Make the call yourself, use the option to hide the caller number.

7. Something's not right

Pay careful attention to any outbursts of anger, frustration or attempts of pressure. Be as careful as you normally would over any indications that something may be wrong:

  • Inconsistent information about age, interests, material status, place of residence, profession, employment etc.
  • Refusal of telephone contact after making a reasonable amount of contact via the Internet.
  • Refusal to give direct answers to direct questions.
  • Publishing of personal information such as to be freely available to users.
  • Exceptionally provocative photography in which identity is not protected.
  • Professional quality photographs.
  • Sending of only one photograph.

8. Live meeting

Ensure you have your own transportation both to and from the meeting. Meet in neutral ground, best of all in a public place at a time when there are lots of people around. Avoid alchohol or drugs during the first meeting as these can cloud or affect good judgement.

9. Be careful but also enjoy

At, as in the real world, you can meet all types of people. If you intend to enjoy meeting people via the Internet, remember these words: common sense, caution and honesty.