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Author Topic: Safeguard Yourself Online
JamsessionVT
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In light of the story that appeared on the news a week or so ago, about a 17-year-old Myspace user who's body was found, I thought it'd be a good idea to get you guys thinking.

Yes, it's tragic that she died so young. But the really horrible part is that it all could have been avoided.

There are a lot of internet dating sites, online cafes and chatrooms, and places to meet people in the WWW. And many of them are fine; if you go about it wisely.

Some of the (and they should be) obvious:

  • Do not share any personal information on the net. This includes adresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. It may seen innocent enough, but that last thing you want is to put yourself in a threatening situation.
  • Be wary chatrooms. Obviously, Scarleteen is different than many chatrooms on the net. We have a different goal, and try to keep things as safe as possible for our users. But not all online chatrooms will do the same. That said, most have warnings, and somceprovide a place to report harrassment. But make sure to do some watching of your own, and if things get uncomfortable, discontinue using that site.
  • Do not meet someone you don't know. You take a huge risk doing this. I used to shrug my parents off every time they read me the lectures on internet safety, but really guys, this is important. Someone could easily paste a false picture in, or lie about their age. Don't set yourself up.

Those are some of the biggies. But what else do you do to keep safe online? Have you ever had a frightening experience online? The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can also be dangerous. Use this thread as an outlet to keep eachother safe.

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Help yourself by helping the world
It's a pretty good day, I'm looking for tomorrow; I had a pretty good day, yeah, I had a good day


Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ikeren
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I've got a few:

If you ever decide to go meet somebody you do meet online (and just saying: don't, to everyone is probably not the best of responses...it is sort of similar to preaching abstinence).

So, some quick easy safety steps for meeting somebody IRL who you met online.

1) When you meet, make certain it is public. A cafe, a restaurant, somewhere that if somebody is carrying out an unconscious body, someone will notice.

2) Be careful with your drink...keep it really close to you. If you ever get up, move around, go to the washroom, stand up and give him a hug, turn your back on it, ectetera, don't drink from it. Change it out at the first possible opportunity.

3) Never meet the person privately (either persons house), never get into their car, normal sort of stuff.

4) If you ever go to a party where you don't have 3-4 good trustworthy friends who can overpower anyone who wants to hurt you, bring a cell phone. Agree with a friend (or your parents if you can trust them) at their house that you will call once every half an hour, on the half hour with a safety word. You don't say it, they come to pick you up. Have a second safety word, something you can work into the conversation easily: A red alert. One that means "Bring others." A third that means "Don't come, it is dangerous. Instead, call the police for me please".

5) When sitting down, make certain you can both A) Watch the entrance and B) Avoid being cornered.

I may sound paranoid, but 4) saved me a fair bit of mental and psychological harm once, so I can't complain.

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I am a 17 year old male practitioner of BDSMLNOPQRSTUV...
LeVay Satanism composes approximately 40% of my religious beliefs. I agree with approximately 40% of LeVay Satanism.
I am a sadist (60%) I am a masochist (40%)
I am bisexual, or bipermissive. (75% heterosexual, 25% homosexual).

I seek no conflict outside my bedroom walls.

[This message has been edited by Ikeren (edited 02-09-2006).]


Posts: 157 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
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quote:
Originally posted by Ikeren:
(and just saying: don't, to everyone is probably not the best of responses...it is sort of similar to preaching abstinence).

I don't think that Jamsession was saying that you should never ever meet someone from online. Rather, I think the focus was on not meeting someone that you don't know...so not somebody you've only spoken to online a couple of times, not even somebody that you've spoken to just online and on the phone. There are services available online that will allow you to check people out to add a further level of safety in terms of people being who they say they are.

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Sarah Liz
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Ikeren
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Oh, of course, I agree with you. I didn't mean to imply that Jamsession was saying "never ever". I was just trying to clarify the meaning of the statement: "Do not meet someone you don't know.", because I think my first time through I didn't quite get it right.

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I am a 17 year old male practitioner of BDSMLNOPQRSTUV...
LeVay Satanism composes approximately 40% of my religious beliefs. I agree with approximately 40% of LeVay Satanism.
I am a sadist (60%) I am a masochist (40%)
I am bisexual, or bipermissive. (75% heterosexual, 25% homosexual).

I seek no conflict outside my bedroom walls.


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-Lauren-
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I don't know if this thread is still up or not, but I think I'll put in my two cents advice for online relations of most sorts. This comes from more than my share of personal experience and I hope it will be of use to somebody. When I was younger (around 13-16), I went through an online dating phase, that left me somewhat scarred. Some men online are very eager to prey on young girls who feel insecure and "need" somebody to make them feel good about themselves. Now, for my tips:

**Always be Safe, go by your gut. No matter how nice somebody you meet online seems, remember that it is VERY easy for them to cover up their true feelings and identity. I'm not just talking about lying about appearance and age. I know several people who have participated in "online courtships" as I call them, go to meet after years of chatting, and come back feeling shocked at just how different these people are when they meet them off-line.

**Don't fall in love at the click of a mouse. I know it's wonderful to meet somebody who seems to know you so well, and that you share such intimate discussions with, but you must remember.. please remember, that you don't truly know who they are. I can't stress this enough. In short, if you find yourself talking about marriage and/or children, or even saying "I love you" to somebody you've never met, please step back and ask yourself how realistic your "view" of this really is. The person on the other side of the screen is full of imperfections that you may not be able to live with. Is it possible you're taking fantasy too far?

** Meet before things get serious. MEET SAFELY. There are several guidelines online for meeting safely.. follow them, please. By meeting early in the relationship, I feel that you can have a more realistic grasp of this person.


I personally know, and have in my family, a person who plans to move to another country to be with a guy she only knew physically for one week. I can't get her to let up on it-- she's already too ensnared in the fantasy of what she expects life with this guy to be. As well, I as a young girl got involved to the point of fright with a 35 year old man. I knew that he was 35, but my self-esteem was so low that I thought anybody who found me attractive truly loved me. I'm sorry for this long-winded post, but I think this is a topic Scarleteen should discuss more frequently, as I believe it is directly related to a girl's image of herself. Thank you for reading.


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logic_grrl
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I don't know if this thread is still up or not,

Threads here are always "up" as long as they're open and people are still contributing to them [Smile] .

As a matter of fact, we have an article on this very topic, which you might find interesting:

Getting Real: Relationships on the Net

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Thank you much for clearing that up, and for the link. Man, the author was right on the money with this article!
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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