Precautions & Safety Tips

Safety Precautions
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PRECAUTIONS

1. You can always avoid a user by right clicking on his/her nick and choose to ‘Ignore/Block’.

2. Even then if you ever feel uncomfortable and threatened by someone in a chat room leave the situation by logging out.

3. If you decide to respond to a private message do keep in mind that a private conversations can end up being more personal than you like. If you wish to end a private conversation with someone and they do not respect your request to end the conversation you can always choose to ‘Ignore’ that person by clicking on action on private chat window.

4. Avoid using your real name in chat. It’s advisable to use a pseudo/nickname as your username. Also avoid using provocative nickname or one that attract wrong attention.

5. Tell your parent or guardian if someone behaves in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. You can take help of local police if a dangerous situation arise and you are not able to share it with anyone.

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OCW Strongly Advises:

Chat rooms can be a safe place to have fun and laugh if you remember a few important things

Having fun online in chats stops when someone gets hurt. Online predators are becoming more skilled and learning new tricks that they are then using against people. Although it is not the majority of online chatters who are targeted by a predator, it is nonetheless important to exercise caution to ensure that you too do not become another sad statistic. Below are few of the top online chatting safety rules to abide by. As individual situations will differ, you may need to keep additional chat room safety rules in mind that are not necessarily listed here.

Rule #1 — Protect your identity 

First of all, users should always remember, anything typed or said by them, is seen by all in the chat rooms. Predators looking to take advantage of people will look for even the smallest bit of volunteered personal information and they will use that information against you. Just as you would never post your credit card number or social security number in a public place, you should never give out any personal information while you are chatting online. Some examples of personal information that should remain protected include your real name, telephone or cell phone number, mailing address, passwords, banking details, etc.

Rule #2 — People on the Internet may not be who they say they are

One of the greatest dangers about chatting online is that you have no way of knowing whether or not the person that you are chatting with really is who they say they are. Predators are known for their ability to persuasively portray a variety of different types of people in order to gain your trust. This is why it is so dangerous when people decide to meet those who they only know from their online chats. Users can be caught right in the arms of a predator by not using caution and being wise about the situations they put themselves in.

Rule #3 — Do not let your guard down

Predators, including pedophiles, molesters and other types of bullies are constantly in chat rooms and online. They are very clever and have experience in being deceptive. These dangerous people will often spend months gaining your trust or the trust of your children. After which they start asking personal questions. or try to meet you in person. Always remember that unless you know personally the person that you are chatting with. There is no way of knowing whether or not your chatting partner really is who he/she says he/she is.

Some extra cautions that helps you to be safe: 
  • People you chat online might not be telling you the truth about themselves. Any person can easily impersonate online to what they are not.
  • Therefore, it’s strictly advised not to pass your real name, telephone numbers, pictures, address and other personal details. Do not trust anyone in chat rooms, no matter how much you think you know them. They can share this information with other people and you could be getting prank calls or unknown visitors.
  • Also, if you make a personal profile, avoid sharing any personal information on the profile. Email address, mobile phone number, home or school address, can be accessible by people unknown to you. Therefore, avoid publishing such details in your personal profile.
  • Also, avoid giving personal information about your friends and relatives as well. Your passing of information about them can create trouble for them. If they have shared something personal with you, don’t break their trust, by sharing such information with others.
  • Never arrange to meet a stranger from the Web. This could be dangerous.
If it is really important to meet someone in person despite our advice against it, you must take following precautions:
  • First of all, always arrange the meeting in a non-isolated public place.
  • Furthermore, avoid going all alone, its better to take a friend with you the first few times you meet.
  • Inform someone where you are going, who you are meeting and when they can expect you home.
  • Its not recommended to call strangers home or to go their home till you’re confident about their intentions.
  • Most important, don’t forget to carry your fully charged mobile phone with you. Make sure that you have enough call credit so that you can call in emergency and others can reach you.
  • Therefore, it is highly advisable to ask someone to call you at a predetermined time to verify that all is well.

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