Dating safely on the internet

Meeting someone online for the first time can be quite exciting as you can really get to know them without the pressure of being face-to-face and struggling to find words.

However, if it comes to actually meeting someone in person for the first time, remember to arrange to meet in a public place - such as a train station or town centre, be wary of going anywhere alone with them on the first meeting, let someone know where you're going and who you are meeting, and keep your phone on you fully charged.

When it comes to online safety and dating sites, we like to think we know what we’re talking about.

Stitch is the only companionship site in the world that insists on identity verification for its members, and we do a lot of things behind the scenes to ensure that Stitch is free of scammers and fraudsters that most dating sites simply don’t do.

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.

If everything above makes you want to avoid going online altogether, then it shouldn’t.

The good news is that it’s not hard to stay safe if you follow a few simple common-sense guidelines.

But it also means we get some extraordinary insights into the sorts of things that scammers, fakes and fraudsters will try to do to get money (or worse) from their intended victims.

Although you should avoid giving out personal information, like your last name and your address, you should be honest about your interests.

You wouldn’t be pleased if the person chatting you up turned out to have a completely different personality to what you’d seen online!

And given many of these things apply not just to dating sites, but to all sorts of online social networks, we thought we’d pull together some practical tips that everyone should think about when communicating with anyone they don’t know online — and particularly on online dating sites.

Before jumping in to the guidance, however, it’s really important to stress that we’re not simply making this stuff up — the danger from scammers online is very real.

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