Chat: What You Should Know About Internet Chatting

By: James Monahan

With the advent of technology, chatting has become one of the favorite pastimes of people. What is there to hate about chatting? It is fun. It is anonymous. It can be done at the comforts of your own home.

This is perhaps the reason why people are going gaga over chat channels and websites. A number have already cropped up, from the ever-popular Yahoo Chat! to the downloadable chat program MIRc.

Millions and millions of people are logging on chat channels everyday, exchanging messages and thoughts. It has become so immensely popular that it has even sparked some spin-offs like the Yahoo Messenger, where Yahoo users can chat through instant messages.

But while fun, anonymity and home-based are the very reasons why people are enjoying chat rooms, they are also the very reasons why chat rooms have become dangerous. Before you chat, make sure that you know everything about the dangers of chatting.

Facts are not facts

Not everything that people say over chat is the truth. While there are some who reveal their true age, gender and location, many chatters conceal their true identities.

Some even assume different identities and personality traits over the Internet. One should not believe everything that people type in their computers. Remember that anonymity of chat rooms provide much courage for people who would like to deceive other people.

Of course, this is not to say that all chatters are deceitful. Some are basically honest but will not yet reveal much about themselves especially to newcomers in the chat room. For some, chatting is like building relationships with people. You also have to invest time and effort.

Eyeballs and invites to meet

Some who have already been chatting for quite some time may decide to meet in person to continue the association. Though most personal meetings are legitimate, some criminals use chat rooms to lure young women from their homes. There have been numerous cases of kidnapping that started in chat rooms.

If you want to go and meet a person that you have been chatting with, make sure that you meet the person in a crowded place and in the morning where people can see you. Keep the meeting short and do not let the meeting last until nightfall.

Another thing that you should not do is to let the person lure you away from crowded areas. It is important that you exercise caution as these are people that you do not really know.

Virus attack

Chat rooms have become very sophisticated nowadays. Not only do people chat but they also play music, share picture and music files and exchange all kinds of files from their computers. This leaves your PC vulnerable to virus.

To avoid being contaminated with a virus, make sure that you only accept file downloads from sources that you trust and know. When there are unsolicited pop-ups that ask you to click on their links to view photos, do not click on them. Most often that not, these links contain viruses that may harm your PC.

It is also a good idea to always activate your virus protection and firewall whenever you are chatting. This will sufficiently protect your PC from viruses that may enter your system when downloading files shared by other chatters.

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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about chat.

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