So how do you stay safe while still meeting people online? There are old rules and new rules you should strictly abide by. Some of these youve likely heard before, and with good reason. So here they are, the cardinal rules of online relationships
The Truth About Internet Friend Sites
Unless you already know the person offline, always assume the person you are dealing with on the Internet is not who they claim to be and conduct yourself accordingly.
- Never give out personal information like last name, addresses, phone numbers, school names or where you work online.
- Never post provocative pictures of yourself or anybody else.
- If an online friend starts getting intimate with you or asks you sexually suggestive questions back off and ignore them in the future. If they persist, tell a parent or other trusted real world adult and report them to the site administrator.
- Never arrange to meet an Internet friend alone. If you must meet them do so in a very public and neutral place (like a mall food fair), bring along a few friends and TELL AN ADULT. (Ideally this adult will also go with you even if they hang back and dont actually appear to be with you.)
- Once youve met an online friend never go anywhere private with them until you know them better, as well as you would expect to know a school friend before being alone, and have been out in public with them just about as often as you have your offline friends.
- Never arrange to travel great distances alone to see an online friend, even if youve already met face-to-face.
- Always tell your parents (or another trusted adult, like a teacher, aunt or uncle, social worker, or guardian) what you are up to, where you will be and when you will be back and dont deviate from your plans without clearing it with them first.
- Never ask another person to lie for you so you can meet an online friend. If your meeting has to start with a lie it cant possibly be good.