You may feel comfortable chatting online, especially if you feel like it is an anonymous place to talk about your life or problems you are facing. However, you should take some time to think about this. While it may not be unsafe to chat online, there are things you must do to protect yourself before engaging in this task. Here’s a look at some of the ways to stay safe when chatting online.
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Don’t Provide Too Many Details
One of the most important aspects of keeping yourself safe online is not giving away any details that are too personal. This starts with your screen name. You should not make your handle anything that has your name in it or even part of your name. Instead, try to keep it simple and something that you will remember.
Other details that you shouldn’t give out are your address, where you work, or any specific information on people that you care about. Again, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t take part in online chatting, if this is something you are interested in, but you should stay cautious at all times.
For more information regarding online chat, look at these articles on BetterHelp.
Pay Attention to What They Say
Another aspect of chatting online that you should pay attention to is what other people are saying. For example, if a person is telling you things that seem fake or you find hard to believe, chances are they aren’t telling you the truth.
Depending on why you are chatting, this may be a red flag. Perhaps you are interacting with someone because you are trying online dating. If an individual you take interest in has a story that is sad and hopeless, this may be a person that is trying to take advantage of you. To protect yourself, take notes on the things that they tell you, so you can determine if they are telling the truth or not.
They may give you details that contradict each other, which can give you a good indication that they are either being untruthful, or they are not who they are claiming to be. You should read the rules on the site you are using as well, so you know if you have any protection from scammers or others that are on the site for reasons that are untoward. You may be able to block users or report them for certain behaviors.
Refrain From Sending Gifts or Cash
You should never send someone that you chat with gifts or cash, especially when you don’t know them that well. While you may end up becoming friends with people that you have talked to online, this is something that takes time. If you are sending money to people that you just met, they could be using you.
Watch What Kids are Doing
Kids are also online chatting these days, so it is necessary to protect them from people that may have ill intentions too. Be sure that you know which apps are on your child’s smartphone and set up parental controls when possible. Moreover, if your kid is using a laptop, consider enforcing rules on sites that they can visit and what they should stay away from.
If you do not want your kids chatting online, tell them this. On the other hand, if you only want them talking to people they know, explain your expectations. Moreover, you may want to learn more about how to keep your kids safe online, as well as keep yourself protected.
It is possible to stay safe when you are chatting online, and it isn’t that difficult. You should refrain from giving out personal data, consider the things others say to you, and always talk to your kids about what they are doing on the internet. Think about incorporating these tips when you don’t know where to begin.