Although most dangers associated with meeting someone offline who you met online relate to children and young people, there are still dangers adults should be aware of when engaging in these practices.
Online dating sites have in many ways revolutionized relationships, demonstrated by the millions of people who use them every day to meet new partners. In most cases the relationship is two concerning adults meeting one another through a new medium, however there are some pitfalls to watch out for:
- People might not be who they say they are – the Internet provides a wonderful space to experiment with our identities and interact anonymously, however this anonymity can be abused. Be aware that the information, photograph and other aspects of someone’s profile may not be accurate to who they are.
- Meeting people offline – once two consenting adults are over 18, grooming laws and other anti-paedophilia legal criteria are no longer important. However, rape, abduction, stalking and other dangers can be faced still.
We recommend a few measures you can take to ensure you stay safe whilst using online dating services:
- When meeting someone offline, tell someone else where you are going and meet in a busy, well lit area.
- Remember people may not be who they say they are so be cautious about giving over too much personal information.
If a relationship online becomes uncomfortable for you, you can always report it to the online dating service, and keep a record of any conversations as proof.