User safety is important to us. You are in control of your SPOT experience and there are certain steps that you should follow to ensure your safety while using SPOT. Please follow the guidelines and information below to help protect your personal safety and well-being.
I. USER ACTIVITY
a. Personal Information
Protect your personal information. Limit what you share and do not give out your Social Security number, date of birth, address or any other personal information to those you do not know. Practice discretion and be selective about who you exchange cell phone numbers and email addresses with.
Avoid sharing answers to potential security questions, including your place of birth, father’s middle name, mother’s maiden name, your best friend’s name, your favorite sports team or the make of your first car. SPOT will never ask for your username and password. Do not share this information if requested.
b. Financial Information
Protect your financial information. Do not give out your credit card number or bank account information. Ignore any requests for money under any circumstance.
c. Unknown Links
Be cautious of any links to third-party websites that are sent to you. Unknown links may be harmful or present risk of phishing. Downloading third-party applications or installing unknown software may lead to viruses and give hackers access to your device. Do not enter your personal or financial information on sites that are unknown to you.
Assume that what you post or share is public and permanent. Users can easily print or save text messages and photos that are posted or exchanged with other users.
e. Report Abuse or Suspicious Activity
Examples of Abuse or Suspicious Activity:
- Requesting money or to send a package.
- Asking for personal or financial information.
- Unclear or suspicious responses about one’s identity.
- Vanishing mysteriously then reappearing under a different name.
- Invitations to meet in a secluded location.
- Sending harassing or offensive messages.
- Suspicious or fraudulent profiles.
- Solicitations of products or services.
- Anyone who looks like they could be under the age of 13.
II. IN-PERSON INTERACTIONS
Always take safeguards and follow these tips to help protect yourself when meeting people through SPOT:
a. Learn About the Other Person
Limit your interactions with other users to the Service. Get to know other users through the Service or at SPOT social events. Individuals who pressure you to meet privately or to exchange personal contact information immediately may be untrustworthy.
b. Meet in a Public Place
Meet your group or any users of SPOT for the first time in a safe and public location where a lot of other people will be present. Do not ever meet in a private or remote place, especially at your place of residence. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or threatened, leave immediately.
c. Inform Others of Your Plans
Tell roommates, friends or family members where and when you are meeting your SPOT group. If plans change during the course of the night, let them know right away. Have your cell phone available and with you at all times.
d. Provide Your Own Transportation
Secure your own ride to and from the meeting. Decline any offers to pick you up and do not get into a vehicle with someone you don’t know and trust – especially if it is the first meeting.
e. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs can impair your judgment and lower your inhibitions, potentially putting you in danger. It’s important to be cognizant of your surroundings and to be aware of anything that might put you at risk. Do not leave your drink unattended and beware of anyone that might try to spike your drinks with foreign substances.
f. Prepare Appropriate Items
Always carry with you a cell phone, ID and cash. In the case of unexpected situations, you will need to have the necessary resources to get home safely. Carrying pepper spray, Mace or other self-defense tools are just a few ways to protect yourself in a dangerous situation. Be prepared for worst-case scenarios.
For emergencies, immediately call your local emergency number (911 in the US). Emergency situations include threats or acts of violence or sexual violence or if your or someone else’s health is in danger.
If you need help, support or advice related to physical or sexual assault, the following 24-hr. hotlines are available:
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE | www.rainn.org
1-800-230-7526 | www.plannedparenthood.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 | www.thehotline.org