Online relationships

Online relationships can occur in any online services that allow two-way communication. The relationship may be for friendship, companionship, romance or even business. It may be between people who know one another offline or they may have connected online. If the people in the relationship do not know one another offline, they may never meet in person.

What are the benefits?

  • Meet and connect with new people  
    You can meet with new people that you would otherwise not otherwise meet.
  • Get to know someone before you meet in person
    You can get to know someone and form a deeper connection with them before you meet in person. 
  • Online relationships can rise above everyday stresses
    Connecting with someone online can be a great way to create positive connections and relieve stress.
  • Collaborate and work with other people 
    You can share a joke with a colleague on the other side of the world and work more effectively with them. 

What are the risks?

  • People may not be who they say they are
    It can be easier for someone to pretend to be someone else in order to abuse, scam or extort money from you.  
  • Tactics such as trickery and flattery
    People can use tactics to get you to do things you would otherwise not do.
  • Messages and images may be shared or copied without your consent 
    The person you are in an online relationship with may share your messages or images without your permission.
  • Unwanted contact or contact from strangers 
    You could receive unwanted communication or communication from people you do not know.

You can view online relationship services in the eSafety guide.