Chances are you already know that strangers can be dangerous. What you may not know, however, is how often dangerous strangers are lurking around you with you even knowing it, especially in online chat rooms. If you use online chat rooms, make sure you always remember these seven internet safety tips.
1. Remember that You Can Never Be Sure Who You are Talking to
It is incredibly easy for predators to create online accounts and pretend to be someone that you know or someone that goes to your school. Even your trusted friends’ accounts could be hacked by predators.
2. Never Give Out Personal Information
Never give out your phone number, address, last name, city or school in chat rooms, as this information can easily be used to find you in real life. Strangers can easily find your Facebook profile or newspaper articles about you and find out where you live and go to school.
3. Block Suspicious People
If anyone starts acting suspiciously, block them immediately. Suspicious behavior includes asking too many personal questions, talking about sex or revealing that they know more information about you than they should.
4. Be Careful What You Share With Friends Online
Even if you are positive that you are talking to someone you know, you should still be careful what you post. If you are chatting with a friend about your school or an upcoming soccer camp, for example, a predator could see it and find out all sorts of personal information about you and where you will be.
5. Remember that Once You Post Something on the Internet, It Never Goes Away Completely
Even if you delete something you have said or a picture you have posted, you can never be completely sure that someone did not see it, copy it, print it or share it before you had a chance to delete it. Never post anything online that you would not be comfortable with the whole world seeing.
6. Refuse to Meet in Real Life
It is too easy for a predator to pretend to be someone else, chat with you several times and then arrange to meet you. If you must meet, make sure it is with parents present and in a public place.
7. Tell Your Parents if Anything Strange Happens
Your parents will not punish you; they just want to keep you safe. If anyone starts behaving strangely online, you think you accidentally shared too much information or you see any suspicious characters in real life, let your parents know immediately.