Here on Chatterbox UK, we put your safety and wellbeing above everything else. We bring you a pleasant chatroom experience, where you can chill out and natter to your online friends for as long as you like, but, that doesn't mean you should be letting your guard down. While you're participating in our UK chat rooms, you still need to be mindful of what you tell people, especially if you're saying things which are personal to yourself, or could identify you in any way. Most people will know the obvious things, such as not giving out surnames or addresses to strangers chatting online, but, in chat rooms in 2020 people can be more devious than they used to be. For example, make sure you don't click on any links you're unsure of, because it could be someone trying to get your IP address, or get you to download something malicious. Certainly, never ever download anything given to you by someone, unless you know them really well, and trust them implicitly.
Here are the things Chatterbox UK recommend you consider when using chat rooms (UK and International).
Some people on the internet present a threat or a danger. Sadly, that's a fact of life. In some cases, they may not be the person they say, or you think they actually are. For this reason, we suggest only telling people your first name only. You could also make up a fake name if you wanted - but the golden rule, is to never tell anyone online your surname.
Always be wary if people want you to chat on other platforms, such as skype, or whatsapp. This could be because they are trying to speak to you in a more private environment, without the safety that comes with here on Chatterbox UK. People in chat rooms can have a range of motivations for this, but often it's because they want to say things that they do not want to be traced back to them - often because their intentions are less than honourable, and sometimes, even illegal. Remember, if you do choose to chat away from UKCB, then we aren't able to offer you the online protection afforded by our bespoke chat rooms. You must ask yourself, we have a perfectly good messaging feature here on the site, so what would anyone want to use other methods?
Don't share information with people about your daily movements and routines. This can include work, colleges, sporting locations, places of worship, or bars or clubs that you hang out in. These are all things that people in chat rooms could use in an attempt to location you - especially if they have seen your photo.
We've all seen horror stories on the news, so we feel that the only true advice we can offer you about meeting people in person, whom you'e met online - is unfortunately, not to do it at all. That is the only way to stay 100% safe. If, despite this warming, you really must, we advise you to take someone with you, such as a close friend or relative - or, at bare minimum, tell someone where you are going, and arrange to text them at certain times. If at any point during a meeting you feel uncomforatble, the advice is to make an excuse and leave, providing it's safe to do so.
Chatterbox UK also suggest that you don't open any URLS or links sent to you in the UK chat rooms. These links could be malicious, for example, they might contain upsetting content, or sofrware that could harm your computer. In any event, Chatterbox UK recomment that you always keep your antivirus software fully up to date with it's definitions, and make sure you use a firewall. In addition, you should always make sure you keep your operating system up to date, and use the latest browser. Our UK Chat Rooms work best on Google Chrome.
If anyone gives you a number to call, be wary. If you want to call them, but also want to stay safe, you can always make sure you withold your number first.