Rules for internet dating safety

Do as much research as you can, trust your judgement and make an informed decision before meeting up with someone. If you go for a coffee or a drink, it is much easier to end the date than if you’ve committed to a sit down meal.

But by the same token, if it goes well, you can easily carry on and let it turn into lunch or dinner. I had no interest in the guy whatsoever, and the mature response would have been to have dinner (as planned), split the bill and go home.

Never meet at their house or invite them to yours and make sure it’s a place where there are lots of people around and ideally - where you have phone signal.

It is also a good idea to meet somewhere that you know well and are familiar with so you know how to get home.

This starts with the username you pick; avoid something that might give something away about you, such as your surname, age or year of birth.

Second, until you’ve met and feel you can trust the person you’ve met online, don’t share your address, where you work or study, your phone number or email address.

Get to know them first It can be a good idea to message and get to know a bit about each other before meeting up.

And if you’re really not sure, run it by a friend that you trust to get some advice.

Consequently I got lots of messages from people who I had no interest in, and looking back it was a risky thing to do because I invited unwanted attention.” Clare Google them Try Googling what you know about them and do a Google image search to see where else their photo has appeared.

Also, see if you have shared friends on Facebook or look them up on Linked In.

“For some reason which escapes me now I put up relatively revealing pictures and an online handle (' Clare wants to play' - CRINGE!!

) on one profile that weren't exactly designed to elicit a particularly mature response.

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