ONLINE FLIRTING: WHAT ARE THE SAFETY RULES?
Here are a few critical safety rules to follow when chatting or flirting online with somebody you have never met in person
- Virtual friendship should stay online. You should never agree to meet in person with somebody you have never met physically. The risks are simply too high.
- Never give out personal information such as last name, address, school name, phone number, zip code, and so on.
- Avoid people who pressure you to give them personal information that could help them locate you. This is a suspicious behavior
- Never let somebody push you to discuss topics that make you feel uncomfortable. Just say that you do not feel like talking about those things. If they insist, end all contact.
- Don’t send any pictures of yourself to online friends and do not agree to video chats with people you don’t know personally
- Always keep in mind that the person on the other side of an online chat could be lying to you to gain your trust
- If somebody makes you uncomfortable, stop chatting with him or her
- IMPORTANT: if you decide to break the first rule and take the risk of meeting face to face with a stranger, take at least the following precautions
- Meet in a public place ideally in a place where several people know you.
- Resist any request to go somewhere more private
- Don’t go by yourself. Take a friend with you.
- Let your family, friend, or other trusted adults know where you are going and tell them that you are meeting a person you have never met before
Some of these rules might seem too strict but they are meant for your safety. The consequences of meeting a stranger in private can be disastrous.