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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.The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining.However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested. If you’re raped or sexually assaulted on your date, help is available.Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to the dating service. 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. The way people interact online isn’t always the same face-to-face. No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a crime.- Remember that overtly sexual, provocative or controversial usernames could attract the wrong kind of attention. 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.

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.

You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. If you feel ready to move to a private environment, make sure your expectations match your date’s. Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. Police and charities are here to help and support you.

Play it safe when you meet face-to-face Be smart and stay safe. 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. Contact Rape Crisis or The Survivors Trust, or for more information and advice, including other charities and support groups, visit: Avoiding Scammers Sadly, people aren't always what they seem.

The Risks Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.

Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Viruses & Spyware A basic understanding of computer viruses and spyware.

You don’t need to give out your life-story the first time you chat – and you shouldn’t.

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