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Online watch outs

Millions of people of all ages use online services as a way to meet new friends and possibly find a new partner. It’s a great way to meet new people and when done with caution may be even safer than meeting people in the ‘real’ world.

It does require you to take steps to protect yourself. To get the most out of it we’d encourage you to always keep in mind the following:

Passwords

You’ll probably have a number of passwords that you use already. It’s important that you create a unique and different password for myLovelyParent as it is with any new website.

Try and come up with something that you won’t forget but also something that nobody, not even your closest friend, would guess. The longer the password the harder it is to guess. And using a mix of letters, numbers and symbols make more secure.

If you do need to write your password down, don’t leave it in plain sight beside your computer or desk. And remember don’t ever tell anyone your password – no matter how kindly they ask.

If you forget your password follow this link and we’ll send you a reminder.

Avoiding unscrupulous people

There are people who try and make money online through deceitful and malicious means. They are a rarity but it can of course be incredibly upsetting if you fall prey to their approaches.

Fortunately by trusting your instincts, using common sense and with due consideration of the following your online journey should be an exciting and enjoyable experience.

If you feel any of the below is taking place, stop contact with the person immediately and report them to us. Make sure you block their profile (a link to doing this can be found on the left of their profile).

-  A user contacts you from somewhere far away, often in another country. They ask you for money (often with an urgent reason such as the need for travel, hospital bills, medication, visas etc) and will quickly try to get hold of your personal contact details.

-  They repeatedly refuse to meet face-to-face or talk on the phone, preferring to send SMS messages or personal email

-  They may ask you to send photos of yourself or encourage you to converse with them on video chat websites and platforms.

-  They may claim they love you right away or claim feelings for you much earlier than you’d expect normally. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you feel vulnerable and need to talk to someone for support, our charity partner Family Lives are here for you.  If you’re in the UK you can contact them for free (from all landlines and most mobiles) or free via their personal email support service. They listen, support, and never judge. 

Phone: free confidential helpline 0808 800 2222 (UK only)

Visit: www.familylives.org.uk .org.uk (Advice Live Online, available here)

Email: parentsupport@familylives.org.uk