Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.

You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. If you feel ready to move to a private environment, make sure your expectations match your date’s. Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. Police and charities are here to help and support you.

Play it safe when you meet face-to-face Be smart and stay safe. Don’t feel pressured to meet before you’re ready or for any longer than you’re comfortable with – a short first date is fine. Contact Rape Crisis or The Survivors Trust, or for more information and advice, including other charities and support groups, visit: Avoiding Scammers Sadly, people aren't always what they seem.

Password & Security - Be careful when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.

- Be wary of opening email attachments from someone you have only just met - Ensure that you keep your internet security software up to date.

Skype and Internet Calls Use the Internet to make calls safely.

You should check if the dating site you are using is a member of the Online Dating Association (ODA).

- Stop communicating with anyone who attempts to pressure you into providing your personal or financial information or who seems to be trying to trick you into providing it.

If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too.

Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested. If you’re raped or sexually assaulted on your date, help is available.

Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to the dating service. The safest plan is to meet somewhere public and stay somewhere public. Make your own way there and back and don’t feel pressured to go home with your date. The way people interact online isn’t always the same face-to-face. No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a crime.

Take things slowly and share more information when you feel comfortable doing so.