Online dating safety tips from the eSafety Commissioner

online dating safety tips esafety commissioner

The eSafety website defines the eSafety Commissioner’s role as ‘Helping Australians have safer and more positive experiences online’. Among eSafety’s online resources — tailored online safety advice, support and resources for the LGBTIQ+ communities. There’s also a page with safety tips for online dating.

Too often we hear of members of our communities attacked by people they meet via hookup apps.

It’s nothing new. Members of the LGBTIQ+ communities risked hate crime attacks throughout history. However, modern technology avails attackers of new methods for meeting their victims. So, if you intend hooking up online, consider taking a few simple precautions to avoid trouble.

Online dating safety tips

Let’s get something straight right from the get-go.

A great many online hookups are not about finding a long-lasting relationship. Many hookup app users, as is their right, go online looking for fleeting sexual encounters. They want quick and immediate sex that won’t otherwise impact their life. Ships that pass in the night.

So, it makes sense to devote a few extra minutes to hopefully avoid a violent or harassing hookup. Either take on board recommendations from experts or consider formulating a few precautions that suit your individual circumstances.

The Golden Rule

The eSafety Commissioner says the golden rule is to make your first meeting in a public place. This makes absolute sense. If you meet at a coffee shop, or perhaps outside a pub or a service station and become concerned about the person you meet, you can generally walk away in safety. Or retreat into a crowded space.

If you meet a stranger in your home, you might have difficulty convincing them to leave. Alternatively, if you meet in an isolated spot and encounter trouble, there’s unlikely to be anyone nearby to assist.

The eSafety Commissioner also recommends being wary of hookups who change the meeting place at the last minute.

Next, tell someone who you are meeting and where. Or get a friend to drop you off and pick you up. Perhaps arrange with a friend to call at an agreed time and check you’re okay.

We would add that many sex workers refuse to meet new clients without speaking to them on the phone. You are more likely to pick up telltale signs of danger in an actual conversation with a person than in text messages.

Check out the eSafety Commissioner website. And, if you have more safety tips, leave them in the comments below.

Triple Zero

ALWAYS REMEMBER: If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 000.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    19 April 2022

    I always get the mobile number of anyone I meet online. I will text them my details and send a copy of the text to a friend. That way if anything goes wrong my friend has their mobile number for police.

    It’s not fool proof but at least it’s a start.

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