Online dating has become so common that the chances that you, or someone you may know is a user of an online dating application. In this day and age, with the increased ability to access the Internet on mobile devices and phones, online dating companies such as eHarmony, Tinder, RSVP have been inundated with users. Online dating has now become so heavily embedded within our society that the stigma once attached to finding true love on the Internet is no longer frowned upon. However, there are risks that come hand in hand with online dating that you should be mindful of, as you are not above the law.
Engaging in inappropriate behaviour on online platforms can result in a criminal offence charge regardless of the context. When engaging in conversation online, it is essential that you are wary of your language as there are specific laws within Australia that cater to victims of harassment by those using an electronic device. The various criminal offences related to online dating that can be charged under the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) include:
Even though pretending to be someone else online may be disappointing for the individual when meeting in person, this is not necessarily a criminal act. However, if the impersonator seeks to contact the victim in order to commit a crime or a crime later occurs, then they will be charged.
All Apprehended Violence Orders issued by the Court forbid the person who is causing these fears from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking or intimidating you online or in person.
If a person uses a computer, a mobile phone, mobile application to offend or harass someone through sharing their explicit images or discussions with third parties, the maximum penalty can be up to three years imprisonment, in line with the law.
It is essential when entering into a relationship on an online dating platform that you use your common sense and do your due diligence. Be cautious of the risks and dangers of online dating, the policies of these platforms and the limits of the law when deciding to date online.
If you have any questions about your online safety or would like to discuss any online issues you have been involved with, give us a call on 02 8917 8700 or fill out the enquiry box and we will get back to you ASAP.