At Amintro we are all about building friendships in safe and meaningful ways. And while we strongly believe that most people are here for the same reasons you are – to make new friends, tackle new adventures and build relationships, it is still important to be vigilant, self-aware and follow your gut instincts when meeting new people, both online and in person. As such, we have compiled a list of safety tips we recommend all our members follow.
Online Safety Tips
- Protect your online access. If signing into Amintro from a public or shared computer, never click ‘remember me’ after logging in, and always remember to sign out when you are finished. This prevents anyone from accessing your account and using your information.
- Clicking on links that others share with you. The internet is a vast space of information and entertainment and people love sharing interesting things they’ve read or watched. As a general practice, we recommend using your own good judgement before clicking on links that others share with you. Check if the link leads to a reputable, well-known address. If you are not familiar with the site, be weary – if you are led to a site that asks for log in information, it may be a “phishing” site looking to gain yourpersonal information.
- Personal information. Keep your profile information short and sweet. Your email address, home address, phone number, and place of work should be kept private until you have established a relationship online and you feel comfortable sharing such things.
- Financial information. Under no circumstance should a person you just met be asking about your personal finances, asking you for financial assistance, or enquiring about your credit card number, social security or social insurance number, or for your mother’s maiden name or other private information that can be used to access financial information. If someone asks you for any of these things, stop communication and report them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety Tips for Meeting in Person
- Meet in a public place. The first few times you meet up with a new person it should be in a well-populated place and during daylight hours. Coffee and lunch meet-ups work particularly well, especially in popular cafes and restaurants.
- Let others know your whereabouts. Let at least one established friend or family member know where you are going, the time you are meeting, and what time you expect to be home. Plan to give them a call after your meet-up to let them know how it went.
- Bring a mobile phone. Make sure your phone is fully charged and kept on in case you need to use it.
- Arrange your own transportation. Whether it is driving yourself, taking public transit or a taxi, it is always best to have your own way there and back when meeting someone new. This keeps control in your hands and is a great safety measure until you have established an in-person relationship.
- While you are first getting to know a person, it is a good idea to keep all personal belongings on you – this includes your purse, wallet, or jacket that may contain a driver’s license, credit cards or ATM receipts in the pockets.
If you notice any of these red flags we recommend you cease communication immediately and let us know of the exchange:
- A person who quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service.
- Amintro has created a platform for you to be able to get to know other Amintronians through our website. This also allows you to keep your personal information (i.e. email address) private until you feel comfortable and confident in sharing it.
- Anyone who disappears from the site and comes back using a different user name.
- Be wary of anyone who starts talking about “destiny” and “fate” early on in your communications.
- People you just met should not be asking for your personal or work address (even if they say they want to send a card or invitation). A general “whereabouts do you live?” or “what city are you in?” are a different story and legitimate questions to ask.
- Asking for money, goods or telling of a sudden crisis that they need your help with are other common red flags to watch for.
- Giving vague answers to direct questions or telling “tall tales” or inconsistent stories.