Although a few years ago the prospect of using an online dating service or app may have been a horrifying prospect, it turns out that with new organisations creating innovative ways to meet people, it can actually be a lot of fun - so long as you’re being safe and conscientious!The most important thing you can do is be yourself.
It’s up to you what you share with someone online when you don’t really know the person.
Using a profile photo from Facebook is fine if you’re not worried about being completely anonymous, but be cautious about how many images you share.
If someone is asking you to send them more photos of yourself - whether compromising or not - try to really think about what you’re sending, who’s going to see them and whether or not you’re easily identifiable in the photos.
Check out our guide to safe sexting for more information.
Things are going well, but in the back of your mind there’s a sense of One thing you can do to check your online mate is genuine is a quick Google image search, which will allow you to see where their profile image has been used before.
Simply save the image, go to Google Images and drag and drop the photo into the search box.
Yes, it might feel a stalker-ish, but if you’re not sure your conversational partner is being truthful about their identity then it’s best to check out that the photo hasn’t been circulating online under a multitude of different names.
If someone is threatening to pass around anything you have sent them and making requests of you, this is blackmail and should not be tolerated by you or anyone else.
Blackmail is illegal throughout the UK, and in Scotland this is defined as Exploitation.
The first thing you should do if you feel you are being blackmailed or exploited, is tell someone of authority.
No matter how embarrassed you might feel, or worried about their reaction, telling the police, your parents, a teacher or anyone else you can trust is essential in stopping whoever might be trying to threaten you.