2016, January 11
The Internet can be dangerous, and in spite of our best efforts to weed out
the kinds of people who would take advantage of peoples' good nature,
chat rooms may still occasionally contain trolls, bullies, or thieves.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy our chat rooms safely:
- Don't use the same password as you do everywhere else. This is a best
practice for any service! A variety of passwords means that one compromised
account doesn't mean all of the rest of them are compromised as well.
- Don't use your real name. First names might be okay with trusted
individuals in private messages, but don't take it further than that.
- Don't share personally identifiable information -- not yours, and
certainly not anyone else's. This includes full real names, locations,
phone numbers, handles on other messaging or chat services, or identities
on social media services such as Facebook.
- For an idea of how even the smallest pieces of personal information
can be aggregated into data that can be used to stalk or harass you,
see our blog post on this subject.
- Don't follow any off-site link unless you know and trust what is at that
address already. Advertisers and scammers we haven't caught yet may drop links
to lure you to be a victim of their malware or fraud, and bullies, trolls, and
anyone else employing electronic attacks may do the same to take control of or
monitor your computer, phone, tablet, etc or discover your general location.
- A common thread in adult chats is advertisement by webcam performers. Because
these advertisers are often also scammers, we advise you not to engage, and if you
do, you do so at your own risk.
- Don't visit sites linked by strangers advertising adult services,
as they may be scams.
- Be wary even of links from friends, as their accounts could be
- "Free" can easily be a lie meant to lure you.
- Use your big brain, not your little one.