Sometimes itís fun to meet people youíve met online through social networking, but itís also scary. The Internet is full of people who donít always have the best of intentions. Here are some tips to keep you safe when you meet a person youíve only met online.
Be Careful with Your Information
Donít give anyone your full name, address, the name of your school, or your friendís names. If you give out that information you could be giving an online predator the information they need to track you down. Even if the person seems really nice, keep your personal information private until you know them a lot better.
Do Your Research
Before you agree to meet anyone that youíve only met online you should do some detective work. Google the person and check out their social networks. Try to find as much information about them as you can. Youíre not being creepy. Youíre protecting your own personal safety.
ďGoogle that person and check out
Talk to Them First
Talking through emails and social networking doesnít give you much insight about their personality. If you can talk to them on the telephone for a couple of weeks before meeting them, you will have a better idea of what they are really like. Always call them from a blocked number, and never give them your phone number.
Do You Want to Meet with Them?
Although not everyone online is out to get you, there are a lot of predators who hide behind keyboards. Always trust your gut instincts. If something is making you feel uncomfortable or like you shouldnít meet with them, then donít.
Where Should We Meet?
If you agree to meet with someone youíve only met online, do not give them your address, or agree to meet at their house. Instead, you should meet in a crowded public place in the daytime. Make sure itís not too crowded though. If something goes wrong, you want people to notice.
Have your parents or your friends take you to the location, wait nearby, and pick you up afterward. If youíre meeting in a restaurant, they could even sit at another table nearby. Whatever you do, do not leave the location or go off alone with the person youíre meeting, no matter how nice they seem or how comfortable you are.
If No One Can Take You to the Location
If no one can take you to the location and you still want to meet with the person, make sure you tell someone where you are going. Tell them that you are meeting someone that you met online and let them know as many details about the person as possible. Let them know where youíre meeting them and what time you expect to get home.
Donít let the person youíre meeting pick you up to take you to the meeting location, even if itís a long walk. Take a cab instead. Once you get to the location, donít leave with the person. Even if they ask you, donít get in a car with them, and do not let them give you a ride home.