We all need to look after ourselves.
Today, that means staying safe online as well as out there.
If you're going out, stick with at least one person you know well and trust.
Don't be alone with anyone you don't know or haven't met in person before.
If you are going to go off on an adventure:
- make sure someone knows where you are and who you're with
- arrange a time when you'll call them to let them know you're okay.
Choose someone you know will try and find you if your pre-arranged contact time passes and raise the alarm if they can't get in touch with you.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs can affect our ability to make sound judgements and to figure out how trustworthy people are.
Ready for sex?
Are you really ready for sex? Have you thought it through and talked about it with your partner? Have you talked about safer sex and thought about the risks?
Changing your mind
If you do decide to have sex, it's your right to change your mind and stop at any time.
Anyone who truly respects you will accept your new decision.
Lots of people meet online these days, but you need to be careful - not everyone is who they say they are.
As a rule, don't give out any details that could allow people you only know online to find you in real life.
Be suspicious of people who try to get you to give them other ways to get in touch with you. Don't give out your email address, phone number and especially your home address.
On social networking sites, there's rarely any need to give out any contact details other than your username. Blocking anyone you don't like is much easier if you're only in touch through the networking site.
Also, be careful not to give details of places you can be found - work, college, clubs, pubs or shopping haunts.
Meeting online friends
Be cautious whenever an online acquaintance suggests meeting up.
Don't be fooled into thinking someone's okay just because they seem to be online friends with other people you know.
If you do go to meet someone you've got to know online:
- take a trusted friend along with you
- insist on meeting in a busy public place
- don't go anywhere alone or private with them.
Any genuine online friend will understand why you've taken these steps and won't be offended.