Online dating

The Do's and Don'ts of Online Dating and Online Friendships

One of the biggest changes in the past 10 years is our instant access to information and people on the internet. Smartphones, tablets, and computers are a part of our daily life. The arrival of online dating and meet-and-greet websites over the past few years has opened the door to online predators. These individuals and organizations lure teens and young adults through the internet into compromising situations. Pedophiles and sex traffickers have become extremely tech savvy and know all the tricks in the book. The following may help protect you when you are online.


  • Don't give out your real name, address, birthdate, and location to anyone who you have met on the internet. That person may not be who they say they are.
  • Don't meet online "friends" alone. If you decide to meet up with a person you met online, be sure to take a friend with you, and always meet in a very public place, like a mall or coffee shop.
  • Don't send money or provide financial information to anyone you have met online. There are skilled scam artists on the internet that prey and take advantage of people. They would think nothing of hacking into and emptying your bank accounts.
  • Don't accept friend requests from people who you have no connection to.
  • Don't engage in sex-talk or send pictures online. Remember that what is posted online can be traced, shared, and spread everywhere. Your future could be impacted by what you post today. Often potential employers will visit your online profiles to get a better sense of who you are. 


  • Do report any offensive, bullying, or threatening online correspondence to your parents or another person you can trust. You should also notify the website support team.
  • Do keep private information private. Never give out your social insurance number or other identifiable information. Someone could use it to steal your identity.
  • Do keep your passwords private and in a safe place that only you know about. The last thing you would want is for someone to hack into your accounts pretending to be you.
  • Do "be real," always be true to who you are and don't pretend to be someone you're not.

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