Sex Chat room safety tips:
In these times of online acquaintances, friendships, and relationships, you may want to be careful how much personal information you share. Some information that you specifically may want to withhold is: full name, place of employment, phone number, street address, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.
Chat rooms are a live environment, once you send something; you cannot take it back or delete it. Do not say anything you would not want the public to know. Also, many small tidbits of information when put together with others can provide much more information than you may have intended to do. Not everyone on the internet has good intentions and that information in the hands of someone savvy could have less than desirable results.
You may decide you to want to exchange email, or messenger addresses. Many participants choose to open a new email and/or messenger account that is separate from their everyday account. This assists them in keeping things separate, and makes it easier should they want to close the account.
Never accept files or downloads from people you don’t know or from people you do know, if you weren‘t expecting them. This includes URLs (links to web sites).
Placing images of yourself or your friends and family members online is unwise. Aside from the potential for someone to place a face to a name, or use objects in the background to discern more about you, or places you may be, there is the possibility that the images could be used unscrupulously. This could range from an image being unflatteringly altered, as a cruel joke (common with online bullies), morphed with another image to misrepresent or mislead or even used to create pornography. Often time images contain “exif information” that may give people your exact GPS co-ordinates as well. If you don’t know about this, don’t send pics to anyone until you have complete knowledge about the pics and the hidden exif information they may contain.
Should you develop a friendship or relationship online and want to take things to the next level as in talking on the phone or maybe meeting up, do it wisely! Not everyone is honest about who they are online! You could use a different phone number than your main number (get a google voice phone number (or something similar) and use that).
Before you give any information that could be used to harm you (location, personal details that you would be embarrassed to have reposted in the web, etc) – do a background check with a service like been verified (even do a search engine lookup for “free background check” and find something to make sure the person you think you are talking to is real and not some fake persona created by a cyber criminal. If they are not telling the truth about having a job or living with their parents, who knows what else they are going to lie about!
Some participants may decide they would like to meet one of these acquaintances, friends, or relationships in person. Should you decide you must do so it is advisable that you do this in a public place, and that you bring a friend with you. Also make sure you are not followed home, or given a gift that could include a gps device such as a cell phone.
The few tips offered at these two urls may be very helpful – read these tips here and here before trying to setup a meeting with someone you meet online.
This is not meant to be an all inclusive list of ways to protect yourself; it is simply to provide you with a few pointers. If you would like to know more information on protecting yourself, there are a lot of resources that can be found by doing searches such as “online dating safety” or “chat room safety” using your favorite search engine.
Anti Virus and firewalls
If your antivirus is out of date or your firewall is turned off you risk not just losing all of your personal data, pictures, etc – you risk having your computer turned into a spying and attacking zombie – seriously. There are really good and free anti virus tools now available from microsoft and several you can find at cnet.com as well.
A note about IP addresses
An IP address is a number assigned to every system that connects to the internet. IP “addys” are long numbers that help the internet systems route the data to your computer that you request. Most IP adresses are automatically set by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and most IP addys have location information associated with them. This location address shows the general area the IP address is from (i.e. City, State, and Country). In order to get more detailed information such as your name or street address using your IP addy, someone would usually have to go through the ISP provider (i.e. Comcast, AT&T, etc) and standard release of information laws would likely apply. If you have concerns regarding the security of your IP address we recommend contacting your ISP provider for further details. If you are ultra paranoid on the web, we suggest you look into using VPN or Proxy / annonymizing services (internet search “anonymous surfing”). Also note that this web site has laid out some principals for how we handle IP information in our terms of service and privacy notice.
Know how to find and contact the chat room moderators, and the site admins if needed. (Info on the chat room etiquette / rules page I think)
This is the first draft – more info and editing to come, we welcome your input in the comments below!