Safety-wise, meeting online is similar to meeting people off-line in that you should always use your best judgement and be responsible for your own conduct. We advise the following:
- Remember that you are in control of your online dating experience at all times, so go at a pace that suits you. Remain anonymous using your member name until you are ready to give out any personal information.
- Never include your personal contact information in your free member profile e.g. last name, e-mail address, home address, work place or phone numbers.
- Always trust your instincts - Common sense is the best safety tool. Protect yourself by taking your time and thinking through fully any decision you make.
- If a member is sending inappropriate messages, then remember you can block them at any stage by clicking the block icon in their profile. But it is important to let us know if a serious incident arises so that we can take action.
- Also stop communicating with any member who pressures you for personal information or who won't seem to take no for an answer. People who are serious about online dating will understand your need to take your time.
- Ask a lot of questions - Watch out for any inconsistencies in what you are being told or in the behaviour of who you are communicating with, for example:
- Details about themselves e.g. interests, employment, etc. keep changing.
- Appearance is very different from how they described themselves.
- Refuses to speak to you on the phone after establishing ongoing online communication.
- Request a photo - As you are communicating with another member, it can be fun and useful to see a photo of them. With AnotherFriend.com, all members can put up a private photo, which can only be accessed when the member gives permission for another member to see their photo.
- Chat on the phone - Before meeting someone it is useful to talk on the phone as this will tell you a lot about a person's social and communication skills. Protect your security when using the phone by withholding your telephone number or using a mobile/public phone. Only give out your phone number when you are totally at ease.
- Meet when you are ready - The great thing about online dating is that you get to know the person before you decide if you want to date off-line. You are never obliged to meet anyone. Even if you decide to arrange a meeting, you can always change your mind if you don't feel totally comfortable.
- When you meet:
- Let someone know where you are going on your date & who with.
- Choose a safe public place, such as a pub or restaurant. A good tip is to go somewhere you are familiar with.
- Provide your own travel arrangement & take your mobile with you.
- Let your date know how to recognise you if you haven't exchanged photos.
- If you feel uncomfortable at any stage, excuse yourself to call a friend for advice or ask for the assistance of someone else on the scene. Never feel embarrassed, your safety is your top priority.
- Remember do not get overly concerned, basic common sense and intuition are your best guide.
You've made the first move by joining MaybeFriends.com, now that you are safety-aware, it's time to have fun and search for your ideal date!!