Many of us choose to make connections and meet new people through social media as young people in the digital era. Because you can meet wonderful friends or even find love anywhere in the world when you’re online, which is great to know if you’re an introvert who doesn’t socialize often. However, as convenient and fun as it may appear, it may be quite deadly. So, if you’re thinking of meeting someone online, keep these tips in mind.
You might be cat-fished because people on the internet aren’t always honest about who they are (which is term used for when someone lures you into a relationship using a fake online persona). Another issue is that they may be in a real-life relationship, putting you in a situationship or making you a side dish. You’ll be upset not only because your true love isn’t Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande, but you’ll also feel deceived and have to deal with a broken heart.
To avoid getting duped by a phony profile, consider downloading the person’s profile photo and searching for it on Google. If the person is using someone else’s photo, you’ll be able to see by the results you find. If you’ve been “dating” someone for a long time and they refuse to meet in person, it could signal they’re not who they say they are.
In the cyber world, online safety and security are not always assured. You may feel like you can trust your online companion, but you could be a victim of identity theft or scamming. No matter how much you like someone online, don’t give them personal information like your bank account number, home address, ID number, personal photos, or anything else that gives them personal access to your life – especially if you haven’t seen them in person and haven’t created trust over time. People will frequently claim to want a connection online before asking for money or nude photos. None of these should be sent.
It’s not always safe to meet up with strangers, especially with the surge in human trafficking. What’s more, guess what? Traffickers frequently use social media to get young people into potentially perilous situations. This isn’t meant to scare you away from social gatherings; rather, it’s critical that you understand the hazards and learn how to stay safe. If your new lover offers you a job or asks you to model for them, be wary. Job offers on the internet are one of the most common ways to entice people into becoming victims of human trafficking.
Risk of getting sexually assaulted
You will never know a person’s genuine intentions, especially if you meet them online, thus you are vulnerable to any crime, including sexual assault. Many sex offenders look for new victims on the internet, and many of them claim to be young in order to attract persons much younger than themselves. If you’re under the age of 18, you should never meet someone you met online alone.
Here are some safety guidelines if you decide to meet up with a new friend or partner you met online:
- Always convene in a public location.
- Always let someone know where you’re going and who you’ll be meeting.
- Never leave your drink unattended because you could be spiked.
- Always bring a companion or an adult along.
- Never give out sensitive information such as your home address or school name to anyone.
- Always let your loved one know where you are.