The intriguing world of Internet chat rooms has attracted the eye of many who have sworn never to strike up a conversation with a stranger. But with the promise of not being found out or having your identify revealed, many succumb to the temptation of "talking dirty" or looking for friends in what they believe are in all the right places. When it comes to chat rooms, there are a high percentage of users who wish to stay anonymous. There have been many reports of stalkers tracking down the whereabouts of someone they had a chance online encounter with and the meetings have not been pretty.
You have to watch your step when walking through a virtual conversation. There are people lurking behind every corner that wish to take advantage of this anonymity. For those longing for companionship, there are devious con artists. For high school girls looking for kicks, there are pedophiles and deranged individuals. In this case, it doesn't hurt to become a wallflower and listen in to some of the happening of a chat room you are interested in. Then you can make your decision whether or not you want to join in the festivities.
You will learn a lot about the atmosphere of a chat room by just watching the flow. You will be able to pinpoint the loudmouths, the political debaters, friendly welcoming committee, as well as the rude crowd. Sometimes it helps to ask the advice of a friend who has had experience with online chatting. They may be able to point you in the right direction for a few sites you may be able to engage in safe conversation with.
Chat rooms serve more purposes than just making friend and meeting the next Mr. or Mrs. Right. There are interest specific chat rooms to explore. If you like gardening, this is a great way to find tips on how to make those roses bloom. Some chat rooms offer support for those dealing with illnesses or conditions, such as cancer and diabetes. This is when it is completely beneficial to take advantage of the knowledge and support of chat room users.
Then there is the ugly side. The side that is filled with predators and mentally unsettled individuals that will take advantage of anyone on the Internet, regardless of age, race or gender. This is why it is important to establish a few safety rules for yourself when you are interested in chatting.
For starters, do not use your real name. An alias will prevent someone from pulling up your life history from Google. It is quite easy to link real names with address and other pieces of information. Anyways, when you have the possibility of your identity not being revealed, you may feel more open to express yourself through chatting. Don't include your email address when chatting. Once again, real names and addresses are easily linked with email addresses. The more you reveal about yourself, the easier it is for people to track you down. Don't tell others what city you live in or where you work. Sometimes, even revealing your age is not advised. Every bit of information that you tell someone about yourself is a puzzle piece that can easily be linked with other details to create a clearer picture of who you are.
If you are an adult and have a teenager or even younger child at home, you must stress these safety rules with them to protect not only them, but also the rest of your family.
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Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as private internet surfing at www.privateinternetsurfing.com
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