Web chat-rooms have been trendy for quite some time now. They offer internet users a way to connect with people who share a similar hobby or interest, discuss careers and advice, etc. Also, chat rooms are also commonly used for other purposes, one of which is online meeting points to make new friends or even dating. If participated in using common sense, chat rooms can be a lot of fun. There are several ways to ensure that your online chat room experience is not one to regret.
When having a chat with individuals online, never give out personal information such as your home telephone number to strangers. Why? Because individuals can use your telephone number in a reverse lookup and gain your mailing address, thereby finding out where you live.
Do not give out your home address in online chat rooms. This is a recipe for disaster and the reason is because you do not know who is in the chat room or who is watching.
Never announce your daily schedule in chat rooms. Not that anyone would knowingly do this, in part because it makes no sense, but users must be careful of how they answer certain questions. If you are a college student and mention a specific class, someone could ask what college you attend and ask what time your class is later on in the conversation. Without even realizing it, you have told a room full of strangers where you will be and what time you will be there. For obvious reasons, this is probably not the best idea.
A lot of people do this, but caution should be given when sending a photograph to anyone in chat rooms. Everyone likes to have a face to go with the name of their new friend, which is understandable, but try to avoid sending a picture to everyone and anyone that you meet in chat rooms. You may reserve details such as this for private one-on-one chats where the conversation is between just the two of you. This is even assuming you have built enough confidence and some closeness to the other person already; and remember, you cannot probably un-send data. Only share the things you will be comfortable with even if they got to the unintended targets.
As a final thought for safety in chat rooms, common sense will get you through the process safely. The internet is a wonderful way to meet new friends and can provide an outlet for people to find comfort in the shoulder of a stranger, but there are important rules to follow when using chat rooms. If the topics become extreme or the conversation turns strange in any way, sign out and ignore the individual with whom you were just chatting. Using chat rooms as a hobby can be a lot of fun, but never allow it to become your entire social circle.
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