worried about
online sexual experiences?

Hey there! Every week wild new online social platforms, apps and sites are being rolled out…

These can be a great place to meet new people – but they can also attract some shady folk 😏. There’s no handbook for figuring out what’s safe and what’s not, so here’s some info, tricks and tips on how to keep safe – but still have a good time…

TIPS & TOOLSseeing-porn-glasses

Here’s our top tips for starting the convo…

Do your research

Before you give anyone too much info, google them. If the facts don’t match their profile, you’re probs being catfished.

Does the hot 18-year old rugby player from the South Island actually exist and are you sure you’re not talking to an eighty-year-old from Eastern Europe who has the same deets?

Keep it private

It’s not rocket science, but keep your private life private.

Don’t share personal details like your address, phone number, school, social media accounts, sports teams or the deets on any places you go to a lot.

Trust your gut and use your brain

If you’re getting weird vibes, gap it.

Online, you only know what the person is telling you. You don’t have proper body cues to help you get a read on someone – so it’s super important to trust your gut and use your brain. Don’t add or accept people you’re not sure about.

Friends and family

Be open about who you’re chatting to online. If they’re legit, there’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. Having someone else in the know will help keep you safe.

For some young people like LGBTIQ+ youth, online might feel safer than offline for exploring things. In these cases, if being open with the whānau isn’t an option, make sure you’re connecting with trusted friends or services like OUTline and Rainbow YOUTH as there’s still always risks.


If the person you’re seeing online has convinced you to keep things on the d-low, that’s a massive red flag.


Do you feel pressured by the person at all? Do they listen to you if you say no to something they ask for? Do they seem legit? Does everything they say add up?

If not…ummm byeeee.

If you do meet up face-to-face here’s some tips on how to do it safely:

  • Make it public. Choose a place that has heaps of people and have a plan on how to gap it if things start getting freaky.
  • Tell someone where you are going – or ask a close friend to come with you.
  • Take your own car or get a good mate to be your getaway driver.
  • Stay sober and drug-free.

If the worst-case scenario happens

Yes you can report it! Will you get into trouble? No.

Shady people can be really good at making you feel guilty or scared if you report something, but reporting is the best way to make them stop. Contact NETSAFE or the POLICE.


If you’re beginning to question your online relationship or you’ve been sent pics you don’t feel great about, check out some tips and tools HERE.

Safety checklist: The quick 5

  • Gut check – does this feel all good?
  • Friends – do other people know about it?
  • Research – do the facts line up?
  • Pressure – are they asking for pics I don’t want to send?
  • Secrecy – is it all on the d-low?

If it’s a No to two or more of these, then you might want to gap it.

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Trust your gut and use your brain – If you’re getting weird vibes, gap it.
The deets on online relationships

Meeting people online can be fun. But bottom line is you’ve gotta be careful. You’ve probably heard it all before, but here’s why:

  •  Online relationships can be more intense  – because you might share more personal stuff than in real life.
  •  You can feel more confident online  – and end up doing stuff you regret later .
  •  If you don’t know the person in real life  – they can come across different online to who/how they actually are.
  •  Things can move fast online  – one day you’re texting and the next minute you’re being pressured for nudes.
  •  The person can use your info  – and make profiles of you or share what you’ve said to them. That’s not cool.
  •  You can’t read the person’s body language or body cues  – so they might sound amazing, but actually be really creepy.
  •  There are some sketchy people online  – who create false profiles and do shady stuff.

Does the hot 18-year-old rugby player from Rangiora actually exist – or are you talking to an eighty-year-old from Eisenhüttenstadt with the same deets?
How do I know if a chatting/dating site is legit?

Here’s a few tips:

Sites that begin with “https” instead of “http” means the site probably has a certificate and is more secure. An icon somewhere with the words “Secure” or “Verified ” is good – it shows the website is working with a security service. Sites that come from ‘pop ups’ can be malware – clicking on it can create problems on your device. Malware viruses often come through ads on sites, so even if it’s a safe-ish site, don’t click on the ads.

Random Fact: In 2015, a major hook-up dating site got ALL its data leaked – names, GPS locations, phone numbers, occupations, sexual preferences…EVERYTHING to the public.

Want to get an image removed from a social media platform? Try these links…
Safety checklist: The quick 5
  • Gut check – does this feel allgood?
  • Friends – do other people know about it?
  • Research – do the facts line up?
  • Pressure – are they asking for pics I don’t want to send?
  • Secrecy – is it all on the d-low?

“We want help with how to get out of the cycle of speaking to people online for sex chats, whether a relationship online is appropriate and what hook-up apps are okay.” Anon youth, TLP youth survey

The thing is you can’t read the person’s body language or body cues online – so they might sound like the next best thing, but actually be really creepy.
The deets on camming:

Some people have started using camming sites like ‘onlyfans’ as a way to make money, a little side hustle that’s kind of like an online peep show.

If you want the legal downlow – the law states you can only cam if you’re 18 or older, as it’s considered ‘child sex abuse material’. If that doesn’t matter to you, and you’re still figuring out if it’s a good idea or not, here’s some tips to help:

  • Heaps of employers Google check people and might be unsure about hiring someone whose done some camming. You might think that’s not cool, but it’s important to think about that risk before pushing go.
  • The longer you cam for, the more likely your pics will be leaked into the whole big internet thing, click here NUDES to decide if you’re cool with that.
  • Some OnlyFans creators have experienced doxxing — where someone leaked their name and location online alongside their photos….woah freaky.
‘Grace’, an onlyfans creator: “My advice is unless you plan to have your career in sex work or related areas, the risks are too great to get involved. I want to discourage the idea that it’s a flippant temporary life choice that doesn’t have any downsides or risks. It is a serious decision that can have a permanent impact on your social life, career and family.”
Worried about other online sexual experiences?

Teen Voices: Who You're Talking to Online

Teen voices on talking to people online.

Keep It Real Online - Grooming

40% of young Kiwis have online interactions with people they’ve never met in real life. This ad is for parents – but worth a watch.

I Was Groomed Online

The true story of a young girl that was groomed online.

A Short Film on Online Grooming

A short clip on how not everyone you meet online is who
they say you are.

In these clips, young people get real about what’s happening online – true stories and great intel on talking to strangers. Check out their ideas, their experiences, and even a clip for the old folks!


If you’re feeling anxious, down or overwhelmed, 1737 offers a free confidential call or text line with trained counsellors 24/7.

Text: 1737


Netsafe is a free confidential 24/7 online safety helpline that offers support, legal info and advice on online issues.


Text: 4284
8am-8pm weekdays
9am-5pm weekends.

Online report: Reporting Harmful Content

Website: netsafe.org.nz


24/7 free service designed just for youth. You can call or text to talk about big or small stuff.

Anonymous online chat 7-10pm.
Freephone: 0800 376 633
Text: 234


If you are in an unsafe situation call 111. If it’s not an emergency, call your local police station, or report what’s going on here: police.govt.nz

If you want to keep anonymous click HERE.

Aunty Dee

Awesome wellbeing tool that helps you work through any type of problem by guiding you through a series of questions that help you come up with ideas, solutions and connections to the right support.


Safe to Talk

If you’ve been affected by sexual harm or are worried about your own behaviour, Safe to Talk provide great 24/7 confidential non-judgmental support and advice with trained counsellors.

Anonymous online chat 24/7.
Freephone: 0800 044 334
Text: 4334
Website/online chat: www.safetotalk.co.nz
Email: [email protected]

A problem shared, is a problem halved.