People are meeting other people online from multiple platforms more than ever but are failing to recognize the dangers in doing so if you do not follow some safety tips. Here are 6 ways to protect yourself when you finally meet someone off screen.
1. Make sure they're legitimate.
Yes there is a lot of fishes in the sea but there are also catfishes. Before you actually meet up with someone online be sure that you have had some live picture and/ or video of them. Apps like Facetime and Snapchat will give you the ability to make sure the person you’re meeting with is in fact the person you are seeing in pictures. It has become so common for people to catfish other people and is highly dangerous. With that said you want to have a little background on the person.
2. Share your location with your closest friends.
Location, location location! Anytime you are meeting someone from the internet you should keep in mind that not all people are trustworthy. Personally any time I go out to meet someone new I share my location with at least three other people. Whether this is man or women you’re meeting it is in your best interest to have your location shared.
This way if something were to go wrong they will know exactly where you’re at and can rescue you if need be. Find My Friends is one of the best apps used for sharing your location on the IPhone that gives an almost precise location that is constantly updating. This way your friends will know where you are headed and the last place you were at.
3. Use code words and emojis.
As silly as it may be, having code words or emojis enhances your safety. It can be something as simple as a thumbs up or even an animal representing safety. If the person your meeting were to take your phone at any given time and impersonate you without the given word or emoji it will automatically make your friends become cautious. Even if the person you're meeting glances over, a simple emoji or code word won't blow your cover.
4. Go out in public.
Avoid being somewhere private when you meet someone online for the first time. If you meet in private this enables you from having bystanders or witnesses if need be.
Society has started to become more aware of people who are in trouble with body language so being in public is your best bet. Meeting in public can also help you avoid feeling trapped. As long as you’re in public you can make pin point out the exits a lot quicker and get immediate help if you sense the person you are with is sketchy.
5. Limit or avoid alcohol and/or drugs.
Sure going out for drinks on the weekend is seen as a casual date nowadays. But be cautious on the amount you consume or intake. Drugs should be a hard no because you never know what you could be intaking. As for alcohol, though it may be legal, it still puts you in a different state of mind.
Also be aware of who is making your drink and what exactly is being put in it, alcohol percentage differs with the type you intake. If the person you’re meeting pushes you to have more drinks and or drugs you should decline and if they’re still pushing, let that be a warning sign. There’s a difference between having a good time and going too far.
Sometimes we will need something to protect us instantly if something goes wrong. Carrying either pepper spray, a legal size tazar or even just your keys allows you to be armed with protection if the person you’re meeting with becomes hostile. Protection can also mean having a friend in the same location as you standing at a distance and ready to get you if need be.
These tips will help the process of meeting someone online go a lot more smoother and safer. There are far too many cases of bad things happening to those who are not cautious with meeting someone online that could have been prevented if they had followed at least one of these tips.
These six tips are just a few techniques you can use when it comes to meeting someone from online and you can use whichever fits your style or even all of them!