Chat forums can be as dangerous as they are beneficial. They are cyberspace environments where many people across the globe meet to achieve different intentions. Believe it or not, the reasons for using such rooms are not the same for every body. Coupled with the anonymity of usernames which are coined and do not really represent the real name of the person, somebody can perpetrate a crime or any other fraudulent activity without revealing his or her real identity. Because of these reasons, chat room and forum users owe it to themselves to be mindful of their safety by using caution when using such places.
To help keep you safe in chat rooms and forums, here are the 20 best safety tips. These tips will help keep your mind at ease when entering chat rooms and forums.
- Never use your real name as your username in chat rooms.
- Do not give out any financial or legal information to somebody you are chatting with.
- Don’t download suspicious files or folders from chat rooms and forums.
- It is best to avoid meeting up with individuals that you have come in contact with through this means, as they may not be who you think they are.
- Before you even start using chat rooms, you should learn to store copies of your chat conversations. You will need them if things begin to spiral within certain relationships or communication.
- Don’t send threatening messages, get involved in arguments, or get caught up in any illicit activity. Such things can make you a potential target for unwarranted harm.
- There is the possibility that the messages you send through certain channels are seen by third parties using that channel. It is crucial to be mindful of the types of messages you are sending.
- Never allow your kids to use chat rooms and forums without your supervision. This will enable you to control the people they connect with, as well as the messages that they are sending.
- Kids might be turned against their parents in chat rooms and forums. They should therefore be advised to stay clear of people who appear to be advising them on do’s and don’ts.
- Kids should never accept friend requests unless the sender has been checked out by parents.
- Many people can get carried away by the fun of chatting in forums or chat rooms. This could potentially result in unfavorable arrangements. Never chat longer than necessary and always be conscious of your conversations.
- Some messages that people send are meant to retrieve personal information from you. Be aware of these messages, and use wisdom to understand and avoid them.
- Leave chat rooms when you feel uncomfortable with certain conversations or demands.
- There is the option of starting a private chat room where you and your friends can safely communicate.
- Don’t use a username that will attract attention or lead to harassment. Names such as bestluv, sexygirls, and chicksworld are not good options.
- If you decide to meet up with an online friend, never go alone! Plan to bring a friend along, and always tell your family members where you are going.
- Never reveal any of your real data such as your name, phone number or address in chat rooms and forums.
- Never share any information concerning your daily routine. Information such as the school you attend or the mall where you shop may result in stalking.
- Some e-mail addresses contain the full names of the owner. Giving them out in chat rooms will render all your defensive efforts useless.
- Abide by all of the protective measures suggested by the room and forum service providers, including blocking and reporting inappropriate users.
Chat rooms and forums are great cyberspaces to explore. After all, these cyberspaces are referred to as the ‘virtual world’ because they often provide us with aspects of offline relationships! Ultimately, we should approach chat rooms and forums with caution to ensure our maximum safety and enjoyment.