‘Security used to be an inconvenience sometimes, but now it’s a necessity all the time.’ – Martina Navratilova
Finding common interests and socialising with friends online has become part of our lives, but how many of us are overlooking some of the risks involved?
There are many things you can do to keep yourself out of the clutches of amorous scammers, trolls and hackers. Below are a few tips.
Online Safety Tips
- Choose a social networking website that has some sort of verification system in place. Or don’t be on a website that can’t (in some way) verify who you are in contact with.
2. If you suspect someone’s profile photo is not recent (not taken within the last two years) request they upload another.
3. If someone refuses to provide a photo (or it looks like their photo has been uploaded from another website / internet) be suspicious
4. Never reveal financial information and never give out financial information like bank account details or credit card details.
5. Messaging on most social networking websites is anonymous, (no one can ever obtain personal information such as address, email, phone number). The only way someone can know your details is if you have given them out.
6. Remember, it’s message for message. If someone is not replying to your message, it’s because they don’t wish to!
7. Be suspicious of someone you keeps putting off meeting you. Scammers will never meet you in-person because they are usually located overseas and are usually only interested in a long distance relationship and your money!
8. Don’t broadcast your contact details on your profile for everyone to see. This makes you vulnerable to scammers.
9. Don’t get a false security that you are somehow protected by the website you are on. There’s no way that a website can protect you in the off-line (real world) they can only put in place a guideline for precautionary behaviour.
5050 Cafe Friends Online Safety Tips
There are a few things you can do on the 5050 website if you’re not happy about the level of contact you have with someone.
A/ You can request that someone be 5050 Verified. Everyone can become 5050 V (where the 5050 V badge is displayed on their profile photo) when they have a vlog uploaded. A four second vlog helps to verify that someone is who they claim to be.
B/ You can hit the Pause button which is located on every profile photo. The Pause button will ‘give pause to someone’ (prevent them from contacting you) for a period of time (about two weeks). Then if they contact you again but the response is not welcome, you can hit Pause again and they will be blocked for good.
C/ You can Report A Member. You can report anyone who you think has communicated or had contact with you in a disrespectful, harmful or abusive way.
Offline Safety Tips (Meeting Someone From the Internet In-Person)
If you’re meeting someone offline (off the internet, in-person in the real world) there are precautions you can set in place to keep yourself safe-er.
1/ If you’re meeting someone for the first time, then it can be a good idea to let a trusted friend or family member know what you are doing and when to expect you home.
2/ Never give out any personal details when meeting someone for the first time. Do not give out phone or work numbers, place of work, email or your home address.
3/ Don’t drink alcohol before or during your meeting as it will impair judgement.
4/ Take your phone with you. Keep your phone somewhere handy so you can easily access it, if need be.
5/ Trust your instincts. Don’t stick out a situation that you’re not comfortable with. Make an exit if you start to feel anxious.
Safety Tips For Meeting Cafe Friends (offline in a cafe)
1/ Avoid alcohol when meeting someone for the first time. Because alcohol impairs judgement.
You’re meeting for 5050 Coffee remember? And it’s 50/50 (fifty-fifty) and Coffee for a reason.
2/ Arrange to meet in a public place. A popular cafe is the best place to meet and preferably during the day. It’s 5050 Cafe Friends remember, so you can choose any cafe in 5 different countries to meet your cafe friends in.
3/ Always insist on paying for your own coffee or beverage. It’s 50/50 remember? This way, you are under no obligation to anyone and might feel less inclined to stay if you don’t want to.
4/ Remember to keep your phone handy. It’s your emergency alert system if you need it, so keep it close by.
5/ Bear in mind, that rejection is all part of meeting new friends for the first time. You won’t connect with everyone you meet. And if someone doesn’t message or communicate with you again in a timely manner on 5050, then you have to consider that they may not be interested in being your friend.
6/ If you’re feeling that your new friend/s are making you feel uncomfortable. Leave.
7/ If you’re meeting new friend/s then you may want to let a trusted friend of family member know your whereabouts and when to expect you home.
5050 Cafe Friends’ ethos is to (as much as possible) provide a safe, fair and equal environment in which friends can find each other online and then later meet in-person at a cafe of their choice for 5050 Coffee if they wish to.
Just like many social networking websites, good online and offline manners are a condition of use:
Online and offline etiquette:
- I will treat others with dignity and respect.
- I will represent myself honestly in all dealings with 5050 Cafe friends’ administrators.
- I will not use defamatory, abusive, obscene or profane language on the 5050 Cafe friends website.
- I will only use 5050 Cafe friends for personal use and not for any commercial use.
- I will only upload photos to the 5050 Cafe friends website that are of me, are un-doctored and are not offensive or obscene.
- I will act to protect my own privacy in my communications and will not include any contact details in my publicly available profile.
- I will promptly report any breach of the 5050 Cafe friends ethos or terms and conditions to 5050 Cafe friends administrators.
- I will not spam people.
- I will not use 5050 Cafe friends for self-promotion, selling or canvassing people for my own financial gain or business interests
Everyone who joins 5050 Cafe friends as a Cafe Friend must agree to the 5050 Protocol as described below:
UNICEF says: Gender equality ‘means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike.’
The 5050 protocol of gender equity (paying for your own coffee) sets the foundation for the possibility of an enduring relationship founded on mutual respect and gender equality which is about ‘being equal’ but is not about being the same. It’s about rights, responsibilities and opportunities being equal for everyone regardless of whether they are born male or female.