Chat Room Confidentiality

For about as long as online chat rooms have been around, the question for many people has been “Are internet chat rooms risky?” Well, chat rooms can be as safe or as risky as you make them. Generally and almost always, never give out your personal information, download files or meet people in-person unless you are extremely and exceptionally careful. There are experienced and regular chat fans who have done some or all of these things and nothing harmful has come of it. But, those chat players who have been the victims of various forms of crime, whether cyber or physical have almost always violated good, careful, common sense guidelines.

Never, ever give out personal information…
This means obvious things like your home address, phone number and real name. But, your identity can also be uncovered by providing less obvious identifying information. For example, your social media accounts can expose where you live, where you work or go to school, who your family members are… where you “hang” on the Net. Professional hackers and scammers often have accounts with tracking capabilities that will reveal amazing amounts of information about you once they have associated it a single, simple piece of information like an email address or phone number.

Don’t complete and send forms provided by other chatters…
Cleverly extracting information from you on a volunteer or consensual basis is frequently referred to as “phishing”. Tricking you into providing private, personal information can easily be set-up within a chatroom. Never fill out a form provided to you from someone in a chat room.

Don’t download files through a chat room encounter…
Never download or open files that end in .exe, .zip or .rar. You can easily expose your device to viruses, spy-ware and/or ad-ware when you permit such files to download to your computer. Most chat rooms allow you to view images within the chat room or show the full address of an image which should end in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif or .png.

Don’t meet people in-person…
While “dating” may be the main reason you enter a chat room, confine your dating to “online” dating only and approach “hook-ups” with the very firm policy that online encounters will always be strictly online relationships. The type of criminal personality who trolls and stalks “acquaintances” acquired through chat and other online encounters is very hard-working and incredibly tricky when it comes to doing whatever it takes to gain your trust
and confidence. They are very likely to tell you or do almost anything that will enable them to be “alone” with you.

Like in all other aspects in life, there’s a saying that goes… “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.” Always use sound judgement and your good, common sense. Be guarded and don’t fall for fairy tales or far-fetched promises or propositions.

Online chat conversations through reputable online chat rooms can be super fun and great forms of entertainment. They can also keep you safe and protected from the unpleasant stuff that can happen when you are NOT in front of your computer screen.
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