Social networking sites are a great way to stay connected with friends and family, and to meet new friends. Many people have positive experiences with meeting new people online; however it can be risky.
Tips on how to meet people safely online:
- Check your privacy settings regularly. Make sure only your friends can view your social media profiles.
- Don't share any personal information that could let other people identify you, or your friends and family (like your address, the name of your school or where you work, your mobile or home number).
- Be careful about who you become friends with or give your details to. Only add or 'friend' people you know.
- Think before you send or post photos of yourself. Don't share something that you wouldn't want your parents to see!
- Listen to your instincts: you are right to be suspicious of people who change their stories, start sexual conversations or pressure you to send photos or meet in person.
If you decide to meet up with someone you have met online remember these simple safety tips:
- Always meet in a public place, like a shopping centre or café. Never meet at their house or invite them to yours.
- Go with a friend, or group of friends. And tell your parent/s or a family member where you are going.
- Know how you're going to get home before you get there: arrange for someone to pick you up, or take cash for public transport. Never get into a car with someone you've just met or someone you don't know very well.