Seven Tips for Staying Safe when Chatting Online

Being online is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, but when you’re talking to someone from behind a screen there’s a risk that they aren’t who they say they are.

1. Don’t give away personal information

Be suspicious if someone asks for personal information or even photos if you don’t know them.

2. Check out their friends list

Be wary if someone has only a few ‘friends’ or no photos, and question whether their profile picture looks genuine. 

3. Friends and photos seem to check out?

Worth checking that their photos have other people in them who are tagged, and that they’re tagged in other people’s photos. Most genuine profiles are filled with (often embarrassing) photos your friends have tagged you in right?

4. Do they refuse to use a webcam?

It could be a sign that they don’t want you to see them as they aren’t really the person they say they are.

5. Google image search

It’s so easy – just drag and drop the photo of the person you’re talking to it into the image search box, and it will show everywhere the image has been used. You can also search you own images to make sure they’re not being used elsewhere.

6. Meeting up?

If you decide to meet up, make sure it’s in a public place and ideally take a friend along with you, just so you can double check that you’re meeting the person you were expecting to meet! 

7. Think logically and trust your instincts

Being online isn’t that different to being in your home – remember what you would do in person and act like that online.

Need legal advice?

Get advice from the Young Scot Lawline and find out more on rights and issues affecting 11-26 year old’s including debt, welfare, housing, employment, mental health and relationships.

Call free, available 24/7, on 0808 801 0801.

Visit our DigiKnow page for more information about being safe online, keeping your personal data secure, opportunities to learn more and how to kick-start a career in the digital world!

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