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Internet Safety Should Be For Everyone (© Ofchina )
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There is no doubt that technology definitely has come a very, very long way since the internet's humble beginnings and the silly, almost cartoon-like sounds of dial-up connections. The internet is something that can be used for seemingly millions of things and should be enjoyed safely, no matter your age, gender, or sexuality.

  How to Deal

As I said before, everyone should be able to enjoy the internet's many wonders and advantages, such as chatting, without worry. Even those who actually do want to have some fun cybering. No one should have to be made uncomfortable. No one should have to feel bad about not submitting to someone else's force. People who are looking for sex online should be able to feel and be safe with their online partners, and people who are looking for regular conversation should be able to find it without harassment. No one should have to avoid the internet or certain sites they like because of harassment from others.

Unfortunately, that's not the way things are. And until things change, there are ways to protect yourself.

Like I said about my experiences on Omegle, I do end up disconnecting from a lot of people. There's really no way around it. The best thing to do in a situation on this site when someone is making you uncomfortable is to disconnect from them. You don't have to put up with them harassing or insulting you. Never let it get to you.

The other obvious tip is to never ever give out personal information. You never know who you're talking to and you never know what they will do with that information. It could be as innocent as sending a normal photo. You never, ever know.

Giving your phone number/kik account to someone you just met is not a good idea. You may actually want to wait a few years before giving out your phone number to someone from a chat room. I made the mistake of giving someone I knew on a forum my number, and he stalked me. I wished I hadn’t given him my number, but I thought that he was my friend. I had known him for a few months. Was it fair of him to take advantage of my trust like that? Absolutely NOT, but since then I have not given out my number to anyone I haven't met in person.

Know that it isn't your fault. If someone tries to harass you online, or make you feel like a bad person for not giving in, never let them guilt you into thinking that it's your fault. Don't internalize THEIR issues. Even if you ARE looking for online sex, you don't deserve harassment and guilt from people who can't respect your boundaries.

These things may seem like no-brainers, and they should be. But you would be surprised how many people willingly give information or ask for it without a second thought. I think it has a lot to do with the "it won't happen to me, it only happens to other people" mentality that advanced technology has helped facilitate. It can happen to you. You are "other people" to someone else. It can happen whether you are old or young.

Sometimes, no matter what you do to try to protect yourself, predators and stalkers can still get to you. In which case, documenting everything they do and going to the police can be necessary.

The internet can be a dangerous place. But it can also be a great place. We should all be able to enjoy it and keep safe.


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