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Staying safe online

Meeting new people and starting new relationships is always an emotional time. Meeting them online is no different.

The myLovelyParent team want you to be as safe as possible and with the help of Family Lives a charity with over 30 years’ experience supporting parents and families, we’ve pulled together a few things that you should always bear in mind – no matter how expert you are online.

All relationships take time

Relationships take a while to develop. Go slow and enjoy your journey.

Many of the people you meet on the site will have, at some stage, divorced or lost a loved one, and will be stepping into a new, exciting and possibly daunting world.

It’s important that through this period you trust your instincts and stay true to yourself and others.

For more information about relationships after divorce or loss please click here.

Remember – keep personal information personal

We strongly recommend you stay within the site to communicate with others and build a relationship. Always be cautious about sharing information that could reveal your personal details.

If someone is genuinely interested in you it will develop naturally. Trust your instincts. Don’t give out your email or phone number straight away and if someone avoids giving out information about themselves, but asks you lots of questions, consider their motives.

Most people will be joining the site for exactly the same reasons as you. However, there are a few people in this world who don’t have the best intentions, and just as in the real world they also exist online.  It’s important to be aware of any warning signs , especially if you have decided to make contact with someone privately outside of the site.

That first message

If there’s somebody who you are interested in or who has shown interest in you, take a good look at their profile.

See what they’ve written about themselves. And what their relative or friend has written about them. Make sure they are someone with whom you have something in common or genuinely would like to make contact with.

If so, enjoy replying to that that first message. It’s where the adventure begins.

Keep it personal and considered. Look for common interests or experiences and don’t share your life story. Make responding as easy as possible by asking questions which will help start the conversation.

That first meeting

Meeting for the first time can be extremely exciting and extremely nerve-wracking. The good news is you’ll probably both be feeling the same way.

When setting the meeting make sure you choose a public place to meet. Somewhere you feel comfortable and safe.

For your own safety make your own way to the meeting – don’t be picked up from home. Having your own transport will also mean you can leave whenever you’d like.

Always tell a friend or family member where you’re going and what time you expect to be back. Take your mobile phone too, just in case there is an emergency. It’s also a good thing for the person you’re meeting to know that you’ve told someone else too.

A cup of coffee is always a good first meeting. If you are getting on you can always stay for longer. But it’s also nice and short if things aren’t working out as well as hoped.

If the person you meet doesn’t look anything like his or her profile picture then you should immediately walk away from it and report them to us. You should never worry about how embarrassing this might be – your safety is much more important. 

Long distance connections

A while ago talking to people across the other side of the world was unheard of. Technology has not only made this possible but also extremely easy.

Exciting as it is you should always take extra care.

As always use common sense and caution with every person you communicate with and remember to follow all the tips above. If any information or ask makes you apprehensive you should simply end the communication.

If you do decide to meet up in person make sure you have somewhere planned to stay and keep this location private. Never stay in the other person’s home on your first visit and don’t get into a private vehicle from the airport.

And as with any meeting make sure you tell a friend and family member who you are meeting, exactly where you are going, what you plan to do whilst you are away and when you plan to return. And keep in regular contact with them via text or by phone.

Tell us if something’s not right

Help us make this website as safe and successful as possible by alerting us if you come across anything you feel is not right. There are several options available to you if you are unsure about the profile or activities of another person:

- If you view a profile that gives you cause for concern you can simply click on the ‘Report a concern’ link

- If you receive a message that you deem to be inappropriate, simply click ‘Report inappropriate behaviour’.

Taking any of the above actions will flag the person causing you concern to our team immediately, which will help us resolve the issue quickly. 

Also read: Online Watch Outs