The Virtual World of Chatrooms and How to Avoid Some Common Chat Mistakes

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One could not but wonder where all the time goes. With the express burden of the immense work load, people nowadays prefer to employ cost effective and sometimes even free, online Chatrooms to make friends from all over the world within a small period of time. More so, today getting connected to our near and dear ones has become very affordable with respect to the long distance calls.

Perhaps the most outstanding thing about Chatrooms is that it has separate locale for different people sharing different interests. For example, a teen chat room will be different to the married ones, or a gardening room is different from a music one. The most ardent of followers are the generation next that have taken up chat online rooms as one effective mode of communication. They also offer a lot of privacy when it comes to communicating with anyone from any part of the world. The messages posted during the conversation between various people are not published publicly. Moreover, users entering these rooms are not verified about their identity.

People come to know new users while remaining connected to the old ones. The chat rooms not only offer opportunity to come across friends but also for setting up an online date, discussing religion, education and astrological information etc.

Now let us look into what any new chat room user must know and pay heed to, before taking a plunge into the virtual; world of free Chatrooms:

•Sharing Identifiers in Your Screen Name: Your onscreen name should never contain any identifiers to your real person; for example your city, school name, or real names, which will make it easier for someone online to discover their true identity.
•Giving Personal Information Out Online: New users should pay heed not to share telephone numbers, addresses or other information with anyone you do not already have a long-standing relationship with. One would need to be cautious at every step while entertaining oneself over a free chat.

•Never Share Your Password: Do not share your password with anyone at any point of time. New users are the most likely targets of hijackers that elicit passwords by posing as website or IM representatives online.

•Beware of Hyperlinks, File Transfers: beware that when given unknown links or file transfers, you are potentially at a risk of computer viruses, spyware and other malware. When in doubt, check with the sender to make sure they sent the link or file, and have antivirus software enabled to protect your computer.
•Flashing More Than a Smile on Webcam: Do not get into embarrassing situations of having inappropriate photographs falling under nudity circulated on the Internet after showing some skin on the webcam. Consider the consequences clearly before making any unwise move.

•Engaging in Inappropriate Conversation with a Minor: Unfortunately, most chat room and IM services have difficulty preventing minors from mixing in with adults. If you engage in any conversation which may be deemed inappropriate for a minor, it may be difficult to verify the age of the person(s) you are chatting with and its consequences can be more than the loss of membership.

•Being Unaware of Blocking Features: This one feature will come in very handy when you will be tackling a cyber bully. Being unaware of blocking features only allows prolonged contact and the cycle of abuse to continue.

•Not Reading Terms of Service, Privacy Policies: Unfortunately, some chat room services may exploit legal loopholes, making any photos, text, video or other multimedia fair game for advertising or use across their website(s). Never allow yourself to be caught unaware of the terms of service and privacy policies of your favorite chat rooms, available typically via link on the bottom of each webpage, or through the "Help" menu of your favorite IM client.

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