Safety and Security Tips
As with any location-based service, it’s important that you use common sense when interacting with people online.
- Don't share or disclose your password with any third party – even if they're your friend. If you lose your password or give it out, your personal data may be compromised. If your profile has been hacked, please report it to our team via our feedback page.
- Always be careful with giving out personal information if you don't know a new person well yet. This includes disclosing your email address, instant messenger details, full name and URLs. Also be sure to never share your financial information, such as your credit card details.
- Be especially aware of people claiming to be a representative of our company or other companies and who are asking you to pay or delivery of a prize or service that is not offered directly on the HOT or NOT website. Please also be extremely cautious about people claiming to be in trouble and needing financial assistance – these are almost always hoaxes.
- Don’t use a controversial or provocative username – this could attract the wrong kind of attention. We recommend using your first name only.
- If you come across any inappropriate behavior, click the "Report abuse" link and to immediately alert our team. There is also a "Block user" function if you ever feel uncomfortable with other users or exchanges. Don’t put up with abuse or harassment – block the user or report them to our support team. We work to deal with these matters as quickly as possible, and a detailed management system is in place to monitor and quality control this feature.
More safety tips can be found at Get Safe Online and DirectGov.
Tips for meeting up offline
- When you start chatting with someone new, ask them for some recent photographs of themselves, ideally taken within the last 4 weeks.
- Don't ever get pressured into meeting up; only meet someone if and when you're sure you're ready.
- Always try and talk to the other person on the phone first.
- Tell others where you're planning to go and arrange a check up phone call or text message.
- Arrange your own transportation to and from the meeting place – don’t agree to meet at their place or your own home. In fact, it’s best not to give out your address at all until you have really got to know the person.
- It can be useful to come prepared with an excuse to leave if you feel the meeting is not going well, that way you get out with a minimum of fuss.
- When meeting up for the first time, make sure it’s during daylight hours, in a public place and while sober! And make sure you don’t drink too much after you have met up, and keep your drink and belongings within site at all times.