The internet provides so many possibilities and activities you can do whenever you want to have fun, relax, feel better, etc. One of the activities, and one that draws lots of people, is online chatting.
Millions of people join online chat rooms every day to ask questions, discuss issues, and anonymously confide in strangers, among other things. However, most of these people end up making costly mistakes that could have been avoided. Here are some precautions you should take while chatting online.
Precautions to take while chatting online
1. Know your audience
Online chatting takes various forms. You can chat on social media, on chat rooms that require registration, or on anonymous chat rooms. All these platforms are great for connecting with people, but they are all meant for different types of conversations.
For example, when you are on Facebook, it’s advisable to avoid talking to strangers. However, anonymous chat rooms are fueled by the fact that you are talking to strangers. All these platforms require you to understand what you should talk about and who you should talk to.
If you are using a registered account, avoid disclosing personal issues or information. If you are using an anonymous chat room, you can talk about personal issues but do not disclose any personally identifiable information.
2. Use a VPN
Anonymous chat rooms such as Omegle are very popular as they provide the opportunity to interact with strangers and share ideas without revealing who you are. This means that you can open up about real issues and hear their take on the matter.
However, before you do that, ensure that you are completely anonymous by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will help you increase your anonymity by hiding your real IP address, and so the network won’t know who you are (remember most chats are usually moderated).
Further, in case you get banned, you can always bypass chat room blocking with the help of a VPN.
3. Consider the dark web
Dark web chat rooms are famous in that people can express themselves freely without looking over the shoulder. If those are the kind of chats you are interested in, then consider chat rooms on the dark web.
The dark web provides a very high degree of privacy that can’t be achieved whenever you are using a regular browser or an app (even less privacy). You will meet other users there who are only identified using pseudonyms or aliases, and you can discuss pretty much anything. If you have to create an account, remember to use a temporary/ fake email address too.
4. Know the risks involved
Online chatting always involves some risks. The most common are fake profiles, improper encryptions, and account hacks. Fake profiles are common in social media networks, and accounts hacks necessitate you to use a secure password and 2FA if possible. To ensure that your identity is not compromised when using anonymous chats, either uses a secure VPN or chat on the dark web.
5. Never overshare!
As a rule of thumb, whenever you are chatting online, never overshare. This is because the internet never forgets, and so what you put out there will almost always add to your digital footprint. Oversharing is however relative, and it depends on the nature of the chat you are having.
Online chat rooms provide a great way of interacting with people you know, want to know, and even strangers. However, they all pose some risks, so you need to be vigilant not to put yourself or others in danger. The above tips should help you get started on the right foot.