Are Chat Rooms Safe? – Chat Room Safety Guidelines
The question of chat room safety continues to be a debatable topic dating back to its infancy back in 1973 up until today.
Are chat rooms safe? Answer: Using chat rooms to meet random strangers online can be as safe or as dangerous as you allow them to be.
If you’re in the habit of handing out any of your personal details, downloading files or clicking on random external links, or meeting up with people face to face with whom you met online, you are most certainly at risk of compromising your safety.
It’s common for many chat room users to blatantly dismiss or ignore many of these safety concerns. For the most part, these users will never experience the potential dangers associated with ignoring these fundamental safety rules.
However, those unlucky enough to have been the victims of cybercrime or even physical crimes have in many cases violated the basic chat room safety guidelines. Making a bad judgement call has the real potential to change lives in devastating fashion.
It’s your call – avoid dangerous outcomes by making smart choices
Don’t share personal information.
Of course, this means not handing out personal details including your home address, real name or your personal phone number. If you are chatting with people online seemingly in an innocent fashion, remember, serial cybercriminals are ever present, and you may be unwittingly groomed into giving up less obvious personal information.
Take social media as an example. Many people today own social media profiles. These profiles have the potential to expose details such as your location, your work details and other personal details which may be associated to and linked to your family members.
Seemingly minor actions undertaken by you, such as commenting or liking a social media post can allow personal access from anyone hence leading directly to your private identity. Other common privacy breaches against you can occur if someone simply searches up your email address hence linking you to your previous internet activity.
Professional hackers and cyber scammers use various and deceptive profiles, accounts or websites which help them to track people’s backgrounds and their personal identities that will reveal shocking amounts of private information simply by having access to your email address or phone number.
Refrain from entering any details into a form or forms from one of the other chatters. Any unsolicited emails that wind up in your email junk folder can be an indication of a phishing attempt by a scammer to access your personal information. If you receive these suspicious emails – delete immediately.
Chat room criminals also try and lure innocent chatters into phishing scams by convincing you to fill out a form provided by them within the chat room itself – never fill in any forms or inadvertently signup to anything when asked to do so from another chatter – block them immediately and report the user to the website admin.
Scammers use many seemingly legitimate strategies to steal your private information. This may include a common or popular website with professionally branded but fake images. A common way to spot a fake website is to check the URL of the website.
For example, the website may appear to look like a trusted financial institution such as www.commbank.com.au – but the website you’ve been send has a completely different URL e.g.: ( www.commbank-4090x.com ) Fooling you into believing it’s legitimate. Delete immediately.
Additionally, never open, download or save unsolicited files to your computer or any device. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of infecting your computer with adware, spyware and other viruses.
As a rule, do not except files and folders or images in a .zip format. If you open these, your entire PC or device has been compromised.
Think twice when meeting someone in person
Naturally, this might be the very reason you started using a chat room in the first place. However, the reality is that this opens you up to the very real possibility of becoming the victim of assault, black mail, robbery or even abduction.
Meeting random anonymous strangers offline from the internet compromises your security, it’s just that simple. The vile individuals who commit such acts put in huge amounts of time and effort to make you trust them. Many victims of crime convince themselves they are talking to honest and sincere people based on the duration of the online relationship, often with catastrophic outcomes.
Hold onto your money
When you are using a chat room, it’s a given that there is a percentage of robots and scammers who are monitoring the chat room activity for no other reason than to take your money, known as: eWhoring, Catfishing or Cam Bots.
Catfishing scams can be described as cyber criminals who attempt to win over your trust with their goal being to access and steal your identity and money. Catfishing comes in hundreds of various methods, however the are several more-common catfishing tricks you should be aware of:
You are tricked into believing you could be entitled to receive an absurdly large amount of cash. In some circumstances, the scammer will in fact transfer you a small sum of cash to gain your trust. By doing this, the scammer has access to your bank account number and can steal everything in that account.
Another more-common catfishing trick involves someone who has befriended you over the internet and has gained your trust over a period of time. The perpetrator eventually comes up with a hard luck story, such as needing urgent medical expenses. Once you pay, your friend disappears never to be heard from again. If they ask for money, do not ask any questions – Remove contact with this person immediately!
A chat bot is an artificial intelligence technology that will chat to you back and forth having you believe you are interacting with a real person. The aim of the chat bot is to trick you into signing up to a cam website.
Once you sign up to one of these fictitious sites, the chat bot program will steal your credit card details or will earn a commission payment by signing you up to a legitimate cam website. For the most part, it’s relatively clear when you’re engaging a bot – it does not do very well with asking unique questions and will at times ask you the same things over and over. If there’s a red flag, no matter how insignificant it seems – remove yourself immediately.
With this scam, the ewhore offers the victim live streams or graphic images in exchange for cash. The perpetrators trick their victims into believing they are attractive women who will swap online material for cash. If the transaction goes ahead, the victim is usually sent fake material from an adult website. eWhoring can also involve sending pre-recorded footage stolen from cam sites hence fooling the victim into believing they are viewing live footage.
Hackers and blackmailers
The majority of hackers are not fully-fledged hackers and do not possess the cutting-edge technologies or smarts to call themselves Bonafide hackers. The term “hacker” in the broader spectrum is associated with professionally trained and highly skilled programmers in terms of having the capability and skillset to be able to breach highly secure and advanced IT systems such as government or financial databases.
The truth is your everyday hacker is more of just a nuisance who uses ready-made scripts when trying to lure innocent people. They often work under the direction of a scrupulous team leader in some hidden sweat shop like environment. They try and disguise their location with VPN technologies to avoid detection from authorities.
A common intimidation strategy used by these so-called hackers is identifying a victims IP address and often using blackmail tactics. However, the truth is, an IP address will not pinpoint a location to an exact address. An IP address typically only reveals which internet provider you are using and which state or city you live in.
Do not be overly concerned if a so-called hacker claims to know your precise address, it’s unlikely they do.
Pacifying a blackmailer is a path you do not want to go down. It’s the start of a never-ending journey. Do NOT EVER allow yourself to be filmed. Disable your camera settings whenever you use chat rooms.
By putting yourself in compromising video footage opens the door to you being held to financial Ransome and threats of posting any compromising footage to your email and social network contacts. There are various documented cases where online Ransomes have led to victims suiciding at the thought of any compromising video footage being posted on the internet for their friends and families to witness.
Authorities and police departments take the issue of cyber-safety extremely seriously. Chat room services and dating sites are at times called upon to assist authorities in revealing crucial information and data to help root out predators. Sting operations carried out by special operation departments work with chat room administrators in bringing justice to victims of online crimes.
The presence of criminals within the chat room environment remains ever-present. Prevention is the best way to fight back, so do not allow yourself to fall into their trap.
Here at ChatRooms.Site, we provide our users with safety features which allow you to chat with people on your terms. Using the block feature or simply ignoring unwanted chat requests is the best way to stay safe.
Further, our chat room moderators do a good job in banning chat room trolls. We are here to help you to enjoy the possibilities in meeting genuine people from all walks of life.