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Safety

Socialise Safety Information

The vast majority of individuals who use Socialise are sincere and honest about the information they give and in their reasons for using it but as with all social networks, exceptions do exist. You should always bear in mind how to stay safe and use care and common sense when communicating with or meeting new people, both online and offline. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe experience.

Writing your profile

Write about your interests and the activities you enjoy. Keep it simple and real. Be as honest as you can, you would not want to be misled so don’t mislead anyone else.

Avoid including contact information such as your last name, email address, home address, where you work or your phone numbers in your public profile.

Photo

Post a photo, but make sure you cannot identify your family, friends, home or car in it. Only share images that you wouldn’t mind your family or others seeing.

We recommend not using a photo already being used for other on-line profiles as it may put your privacy at risk.

Messaging

When you are having a conversation online think whether you would be saying and sharing the same things if you were meeting the other person face-to-face. Be cautious about how much information you share at first and even over time. Always keep safety in mind and take a common-sense approach when talking to someone new.

Keep your conversations light and friendly.

Don’t give out personal information such as your home or work address, phone numbers or email address until you’ve met in person and got to know them better.

Remember you are not obliged to respond to any messages. If what they’re saying doesn’t ring true or is making you uneasy, you can report any concerns.

Warning signs to look out for

Socialise is designed to help you meet more of your neighbours, but be aware that scammers use sites like this to extract money from you. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself:

Never, ever respond to a request for money or any financial information. If someone asks, they are almost certainly a scammer.

Watch out for stories that tug on heart strings such as illness or bad luck and be cautious of anyone who says they are unable to meet in person. Don’t provide personal contact details to anyone who says their membership is about to end.

Meeting in person

Be smart and stay safe. Although you’ve probably got to know the person better during your conversations, it’s still worth taking note of the following tips to ensure you stay safe when meeting someone especially for the first time.

Do some research before meeting someone for the first time. Search for social media profiles or do a web search to see if there are any records or images of the person online. Eg Check their LinkedIn or run a Google Image search to check any photos provided. If you’re unsure, ask for a recent photo of who you are talking to.

When you meet for the first few times, choose a public place that is easily accessible to you both, where you can be seen and heard by other people.

Let friends or family members know where you’re going and when you’ll be home and keep them regularly updated.

Take your mobile phone with you and make sure it’s fully charged.

Keep your purse, wallet, phone, and personal items with you all the time.

Be careful with alcohol so that you can keep your wits about you. If you think your food or drink has been tampered with then don’t consume it.

Do not give out your home or office address until you are confident that you can trust your new friend.

Leave at any time if you feel uncomfortable. If you think something is wrong, politely make an excuse and leave. If this doesn’t work, just leave.

If you are concerned about your safety – regardless of how or where you initially met the individual in question – you should contact the police.

Travel

It’s best to travel independently to and from a first meeting.

Take some emergency cash and a taxi number in case you need a taxi at the last minute.

Do not arrange to share lifts or reveal exactly where you live until you are certain you can trust this new person.

Reporting a concern

If you have serious concerns about another member’s behaviour, you can report them to us confidentially.

If you feel your personal safety has been compromised, or that you or other members are at risk, then we urge you to cease all communication and contact the police immediately.