7 Tips for Staying Safe when Chatting Online in Rights

Being online is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, but when you’re talking to someone from behind a screen there's a risk that they aren’t who they say they are. 

1) Don’t give away personal information

Be suspicious if someone asks for personal information or even photos if you don’t know them.

2) Check out their friends list

Be wary if someone has fewer than 100 friends or no photos, and question whether they're own picture looks genuine. 

3) Friends and photos seem to check out?

Worth checking that their photos have other people in them who are tagged, and that they're tagged in other people's photos. Most genuine profiles are filled with, often embarrassing, photos your friends have tagged you in right?

4) Do they refuse to use a webcam?

It could be a sign that they don’t want you to see them as they aren’t really the person they say they are.


No-one wants to be 'Catfish-ed' - MTV Catfish

5) Google image search

It’s so easy – just drag and drop the photo of the person you're talking to it into the image search box, and it will show everywhere the image has been used. You can also search you own images to make sure they're not being used elsewhere.

6) Meeting up?

If you decide to meet up, make sure it’s in a public place and ideally take a friend along with you, just so you can double check that you’re meeting the person you were expecting to meet!  Check out our other tips on staying safe on dating websites.

7) Think logically and trust your instincts

Being online isn’t that different to being in your home – remember what you would do in person and act like that online.

Call the Young Scot LawLine

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How private are your messaging apps?

Amnesty International recently looked into how private different apps are, including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Skype and Snapchat. Find out how private your apps are here