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Online safety

Meeting people and developing relationships online can be a great. This page has some tips to keep yourself safe.

Is it ok to meet people online?

Yes. Meeting people online has become a popular, convenient and effective way to find friendship, fun and even love.

Some websites cater for people looking for casual sexual partners; others for those looking for something more serious and long-term. Some contain explicit sexual language and images; others don’t.

How can I be safe online?

The internet is a great way to connect with people from all over Aotearoa New Zealand and all over the world. But, it’s easy for people online to pretend to be something they’re not.

There are some basic rules for keeping yourself safe when internet dating.

  • Remember that the profile of the person is something they’ve created themselves and the real person may be quite different.
  • Never go alone to meet someone you’ve only connected with through the internet.
  • If you’re going to meet, make sure it’s in a public place.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and touch base with them when you have retuned. Make sure the person you’re going to meet knows you’ve done this.
  • Never go somewhere else with them after you’ve met – unless it is a safe and public place.
  • Trust your instincts – if it doesn’t quite feel right it probably isn’t.

Relationships can develop extremely quickly online – often much faster than they would in real life. Go at a pace you are comfortable with and only share as much information as you want.

  • Be careful about what you say and which photos you put online.
  • Don’t send a message or photo that you wouldn’t want to be reposted.
  • Don’t accept anyone emailing you pornography.
  • Choose an email address or chat room name that makes you sound like an adult. Avoid a name that makes you sound like a young person.
  • Don’t give your address, phone number or other contact information on blogs or social networking sites.
  • Don’t send bank details or other financial information.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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