Keeping Safe Online

Meeting People Online

In this workshop we talked about meeting people online and what can happen if it goes wrong. Some of us had met a stranger we met online before but most of us hadn't. Those that did said why they did and how they kept safe, and what made them feel like they could trust the stranger. Those that didn't said why they wouldn't feel comfortable.

This helped us to get a good idea of how it may be good to stay safe online if we do decide we wanted to meet someone.

Some of the main reasons we said we didn't feel comfortable is because of catfishing.  There was the story about Breck Bednar who got killed meeting a stranger online, but one of us even had a friend who had fallen in love with someone online, only to find out that they were over 30 years older than them.

The website we all agreed was least safe to meet someone online was Facebook, but we thought you could tell a fake profile from a real one by their activities, tagged photos and friends list. We also thought that it would be easier to catch someone out as a catfish on Instagram.

The youth workers also told us we should keep our accounts private which most of us were doing already, and to block people if they made us feel uncomfortable.

In the end we came up with some golden rules for meeting someone online.

Our Golden Rules

  • Do not meet anyone online who you haven't been on FaceTime with
  • Check their profile to see if you think they are a real person (profile acitivity, tagged photos, friends list)
  • Get to know them well first
  • Reasonable living distance (do not meet people too far away from home)
  • Check for mutual friends
  • Get their parents to talk to your parents
  • Meet them in a public place and with friends if you can
  • Block people who make you feel uncomfortable 
  • Keep your profile private

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