It can be easy to overlook the dangers you might find in an online chat room. You might want to cut corners in order to achieve your goals, but this could leave you exposed to harm. Chat rooms are, after all, the birthplace of trolling. Fortunately, by being informed and changing your behavior, you can decrease your vulnerability to potential threats. We'll share with you a few helpful tips to keep you out of harm's way:
- Never click links from people you don't trust, especially to domains you don't recognize. Many links are likely to be spam, designed to trick you into clicking. They may be disguised as links to other chat sites, pictures of available women (supposedly those belonging to the person sending them), or something else you might think would be a good thing, but in most cases, it turns out you're being sent to a site where you have to sign up, where the owner is harvesting your personal information. The links may bombard you with ads, or worse, malware. Carefully analyze links that people send you, and if they are suspicious, be sure to report members that post them.
- Spammers, scammers, and grifters of all kinds want your personal information for various nefarious purposes, and they'll use a few different tactics to get it; here, they will mostly be found pretending to be girls in need of a man, specifically trying to invite you to Skype, Kik, Snapchat, and so on. Once they've got you, they'll either keep trying to sell you pictures and videos that they stole (which you can usually find free on various sites), or worse: They might try to get you to do things that they can use to blackmail you. Keep all of your information in your control -- share no information that can be used to identify you (address, phone number, place of work, school, etc) -- and don't take strangers from chat with you outside the chat. Our chat software does pictures, text, and video cam chat, so there's no reason to risk bringing anyone along on any outside messaging service.
- Scammers will post their handles for third-party messenger clients (Skype, Kik, Snapchat, Whatsapp) in public chat. The overwhelming majority of users that do this are trying to scam you, and those who happen to not be scammers obviously do not have the patience to carry on a conversation or share anything of value. Never add a username that is shared in a throwaway line in public chat. It's not worth the risk. Furthermore, don't add usernames given to you in private messages, either, unless you have talked to this user several times and are reasonably certain that they are who they say they are and are chatting in good faith.
- Present yourself in a polite and friendly manner to all chatters. Don't be rude and insulting. You don't know who else might be using the chat rooms and what they're capable of. Everyone is chatting to have a good time, so avoid conflict with other chatters. Don't engage in hostile conversations. Use the "report" button.
- Protect your fellow chatters! Utilize the report function in the chat software so that moderators will be made aware of what is going on. Even if you're not sure something is wrong, once notified, moderators will look into the situation in more detail. Use common sense when reporting, however, and spare moderators from frivolous reports about things that are not against the rules or can't be investigated. Focus on potential scammers, link posters, suspected under age chatters, and users who are seeking the attention of minors.
- Make use of the privacy settings our chat room software includes. We've made it so you can block PMs from specific genders, unregistered users, or anyone who isn't on your friends list, so depending on how strongly you would rather not be bothered, these settings can be very useful. If you're using your webcam, we've made it so you can block all viewers unless authorized by you first. To see the full list of privacy features available, explore under Menu, Options. These settings can be the best way to enhance your chat experience.
We've been around chat rooms for a long time, and we know that if you can keep these ideas in mind, you'll have a safer, more fun chat experience. It all boils down to: Use common sense. If it's too good to be true, then it probably is. Think before you act. Behave rationally. As always, keep chatting with us, and you'll meet high-quality, like-minded, interesting people, maybe even in your area.