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Meeting a Stranger: Safety Tips for Online and In-Person

Posted By:  |  March 27, 2014  |  0 Comment(s)

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A simple yet comprehensive guide to staying safe when meeting a stranger in person or dealing with one online.

I have been involved in the security industry for years, and one of the most common questions I get is how to be safe when meeting a stranger online or in person.

Safety Tips for Online Stranger Encounters

  • When online, give out as little info as possible.
  • If possible, meet people on sites that scrutinize their users, though even an extensive profile can be convincingly faked. Do your homework on these sites.
  • Don’t rely only on profiles. Seek out their name online to see what comes up.
  • Use a disposable e-mail address (or phone number) service or app.
  • Speak on the phone first; it’s harder for a man to pretend he’s a woman this way.

In-Person Safety Tips with Strangers

  • Use your smartphone to share where you’ll be with family and friends. There are apps that will let trusted people view where you’re at.
  • Choose more than one meeting place (well-lit, very public). This is because you may want to go to a second location if it’s a date, or if it’s a buy-sell, the other person may get lost.
  • For a buy-sell, bring someone with you.
  • For dating or business, bring minimal cash, only the amount you expect to pay for an item. Keep extra cash (for haggling) separate and unseen by the stranger.
  • If the stranger must come to your home to view an item you’re selling, leave your front door open. Try to have someone with you.
  • Do a background check on anyone whose house you’re going to (such as to clean or babysit).

Safe Strategies with Strangers

  • Never get into a car with a stranger.
  • Arrange a nearby meeting place for you and trusted friends, after your blind date or business meeting. If it’s a blind date, your friends could be across the street having dinner; only one text message away.
  • Stick to your meeting place plans; don’t veer off-course.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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