With the advent of Web 2.0 and all of its social networking websites and online communities, more and more people have become comfortable with meeting strangers on the internet. Whether you are searching for new friends or even a possible dating partner, there are some very important safety precautions you should take.
1. Never fully trust anyone until you know them in real life
This sounds obvious, but many people do not practice this valuable piece of advice. As fun as the internet might be, you should never fully trust anyone you meet online until they become real-life friends. Even then, you should never meet someone in person until you have spent a long time getting to know them using online chat programs such as Skype, and exchanged a few photos or video calls. Scammers and criminals have become very clever with creating fake profiles with realistic photos, hobbies, and such, and can easily blend into social networks. Not all fakers use gorgeous photos of models, surprisingly enough.
2. Never divulge your full identity or sensitive data
Since you shouldn’t trust strangers online as noted above, this means there are certain things you should never share with people online. Banking and financial information is the biggest one, along with identification numbers like your driver’s license. Additionally, it is a good idea to choose a nickname on social networks, or at least go by just your first name. Sharing hobbies and interests is a great idea, but avoid revealing your home address or place of work. If you are searching for penpals, then consider setting up a P.O. box for mailing purposes.
3. Never send money, receive random mail, or assist with paperwork
Penpal sites and social networks are popular targets these days for all kinds of scams. Some of the common ones are people pretending to have a sick relative who then beg for cash from their newfound friend (you) or who ask pen-pals to receive mail for them and relay (send it forward) to another 3rd party. You should never talk about money, mail forwarding, immigration papers, or otherwise with people you meet online. Anytime these issues come up, you should avoid them at all costs.
Author:- JuJu.cc is a free pen pals network of friends from around the world. We exchange snail mail letters, chat online, and more. Join us today to meet foreigners from other countries and cultures.