Introduction to Safety in our Free UK Chat Rooms

On Chatterbox UK, the safety of people using our Free UK Chat Rooms is our top priority. We aim to provide an exciting UK Chat experience, allowing you to sit back, relax and talk with your friends to your hearts content, in our welcoming UK Chat Rooms.

Common sense is always required on the internet, and when you are in our UK chat rooms, it is absolutely necessary to look after yourself and be careful what information you share with others who are also chatting online.

There are the obvious essentials - such as not giving out your full name in any situation – but there are also the less apparent procedures like not clicking on website links given to you, and not accepting any form of attempted file transfer, even if it is via MSN from someone on this service. Although our UK Chat Rooms themselves cannot give you a virus, for example, it doesn't stop you clicking a link to a different site, be that a UK Chat Rooms site or otherwise, which might cause your data or your computer some harm.

Key Safety Points

Listed here are the key points we believe you should remember when using our free UK Chat rooms. Always stick to when using our chatrooms, or any form of online messaging system such as our forums or Social Media. 

1. Some people in the UK Chat Rooms are dangerous. They may not necessarily be who you think they are, so you must not tell them your real name, address or give them any personal details or means to contact you off the internet. 

2. It is never a good idea to give out or publish your email address or MSN address in the UK Chat Rooms, and doing so can result in your ejection from the chatrooms in question. Giving your MSN address or e-mail address in private message is also discouraged – remember that once the conversation is on MSN, we can no longer protect you.

We have a very good website messaging system (your inbox) which can be used to leave messages for people to see when they login. You do not need e-mail, especially if your address contains your full name! 

3. Do not share details about your routines in the UK Chat Rooms. Do not tell people which school/college you go to or the places you often visit. 

4. We strongly advise you never to initiate a one-on-one meeting with anyone you meet in our UK Chatrooms. If you HAVE to meet someone, ensure that it is in a public place and an adult or friend you trust is with you. 

5. Do not open any website links given to you - they could contain spyware, viruses or disturbing material. If you have already opened such a link, we advise you do a Google search for 'Spybot' and download it. 

6. In addition to never giving out your phone number, be very cautious when being asked to call or text someone whom you meet in our UK Chat Rooms, even if you know your number will not be shown to the other person. Unfortunately there are scammers who will give you a premium rate number to call or text and this could end up costing you a lot of money. 

7. It is worth remembering that Chatterbox UK reserves the right to deny access at any time to any user. If we feel that someone is suspicious and may pose a threat to our users in the UK Chat Rooms, we will not permit them to use our service. 

8. Predatory, threatening, harassing or illegal behaviour in the UK Chat Rooms will not be tolerated and will result in possible police involvement and prosecution. 

9. If you have any doubts, report the user or use the block feature. This is the golden rule of chatting. 

Chatterbox UK has voluntary moderators who supervise the rooms and ensure that the rules are adhered to. If you have any concerns at all, contact a moderator for assistance. There is more information on this below. 

Personal Details

How much you tell people about yourself is incredibly important; too much information in the wrong hands could make life very difficult for you. There are some people out there who could continually harass you via text, phone, e-mail or even turning up to see you in person. They could potentially cause you mental or physical harm by doing so. This is why we emphasise that you never give out your phone number or address. Make sure you don’t say anything that makes it easier for someone to find you. A teenage user of Chatterbox UK should never give out any more than their real age, gender, county, city and perhaps their first name. Not everyone in the UK Chat Rooms are who they say they are

You should always use our messaging system inside our UK Chat Rooms as opposed to emails because it helps keep you anonymous. If you insist on giving someone your e-mail address, ensure that it does not contain part of or your entire name. 

We cannot stop you from giving out your number but it is extremely discouraged. We emphasise that you think very carefully before giving your number away. PLAY IT SAFE

Meeting Up

A one-on-one meet up with someone from an internet chat room is a large step from simple text based discussion. 

WE STRONGLY ADVISE YOU NEVER CONSIDER MEETING UP WITH ANYONE YOU KNOW ONLINE. 

If you are certain you want to meet up with someone, make sure that it is in a public place and that you are with someone you trust, preferably an adult. 

Addresses

Never give out your address in a UK chat room session. Publishing an address in a chat room is even worse; as before, you never know who is in an internet chat room. 
Play it safe, do not give out your home address. EVER. 

Pictures

Do not automatically trust the pictures that someone sends you. There are many pictures of good looking people on the web; some people say that a picture says 1,000 words - keep in mind those "words" could make up one big lie. 

Scams

Unfortunatey, most UK chat rooms are full of people who will try to trick you into doing things, often with the goal of persuading you to part with money. We try our best to keep them out of our chat rooms, but sometimes it happens.

It is never a good idea to use a phone number someone gives you, but if you do decide to do this, be wary of calling any phone number that starts with 09, 070, 0891, 0897, 0898 as these are premium rate numbers and may cost as much as £1.50/min! Also, texts sent to five digit numbers should be avoided for the same reason. 

Safety Tools

On the chat section of the site we equip you with many methods of dealing with problems both in the rooms and in person to person messages. The primary method is the ‘Block User’ option, which will block ANY message sent to the room or to you privately by the user who have selected. Further to this, the chat room moderators (see below) can assist you if need be, whether the problem is in private or in a chat room. 

We also provide a reporting feature which allows you to notify the moderators of a user who is breaking rules or causing you discomfort in private or the room. All you need to do is right click their name in the user list, and select ‘Report User’. This then sends a message to the Chatterbox UK Operations Channel for all moderators to see, and one or two moderators will be sent to look into your report as quickly as possible. 

UK Chat Room Moderators

Chatterbox UK has a moderation team to supervise the rooms and ensure that all service rules and regulations are adhered to by everyone. The moderators are there for your safety and have the power to eject and ban anyone from the room at any time. If a user is giving you a hard time, whether it is in the UK Chat Rooms or private message, you may either use our reporting feature (mentioned above) or speak to a room moderator. Please remember that all room moderators help on Chatterbox UK voluntarily and are there to help provide a safe and enjoyable chatting environment. 

Moderators in the UK Chat Rooms are marked by @ signs before their entry in the right hand name list and will be near the top. For your information, users with % signs are trainee moderators, and still have the authority to enforce room regulations. If a user states that they are a moderator when they do not have the @ or % sign by their name, even if their name is coloured grey, you do not have to follow their instructions and you are allowed to ask them to prove their position. You can also verify this by observing our Staff List on the front page. 

Moderators are there to help you and keep you safe, make good use of them. 

Chatroom Security

Chatterbox UK takes security very seriously. Your internet address (IP) is visible only to the moderators and admin team, and all password information is secure with us. 

Please bear in mind that Chatterbox UK operates a 24/7 logging policy, in which the content of all rooms are logged and saved. Only the stuff in the uk chat rooms is logged - not private messages. The reason for this is to enable us to catch and remove undesirable users, and provide evidence to the police if need be of illegal activities occurring.

Also note that we have systems in effect which block certain keywords and inappropriate terms from being typed in the UK Chat Rooms, with illegal keywords being sent to us for examination and context. Each user has a record which contains all your rule violations and profile information. 

You must never give your Chatterbox UK password out to anyone – this includes moderators – and giving out your e-mail or messenger password is also a bad idea. In general, never give out any sensitive details such as passwords or credit card details when you're using UK Chat Rooms. If you find your account has been hacked because you gave your password out, use the ‘send password’ feature so the password is sent to your e-mail address, so you can reclaim the account and set a new password. 

Chatterbox UK has a dedicated Security Team comprising of a couple of administrators and dedicated service operators who monitor all the traffic passing through the UK Chat Rooms in case of undesirable users. They have the senior administrators’ permission to conduct covert operations into suspect users and send evidence to authorities. They also have permission to deny access to the service to anyone deemed suspicious, as moderators can in the case of rooms. 

And finally.....

We hope this article has provided you with useful tips and information on how to stay safe in our free UK chat rooms. We are sure you will enjoy using this service to chat to your friends and relax, but we also would like to think you will stay safe and look after yourself. Have fun, but play it safe.