CHAT ROOM CHECKLIST
For a start please don't believe everything you're told. He or she may be a company director with a big house and a company car, on the other hand they may be on benefit and up to their eyes in debt. If someone sounds too good to be true - they probably are!
Don't reveal too much about yourself. Use an alias or a nickname, this is quite common practice, and don't reveal too much about your physical whereabouts either, especially if you live alone or in an isolated place.
There are con artists who target the lonely and will think their ship has come in if you give out this sort of information.
Be aware that if you put your photograph on the Internet anyone can right click on their mouse and put that picture anywhere that they like in any context.
Also consider when looking at photos of others that many people put on photographs that are years out of date when they were slimmer, younger, had hair etc.
Don't even think about giving out your telephone number under any circumstances. Call the other person from a public telephone, or dial 141 before you call them and they can't get your number by dialing 1471. (UK)
Use your common sense for internet love. It's easy in the heat of the moment to give away details about yourself that you would never usually reveal to a stranger.
Take your time and don't be rushed into meeting, especially if you have any doubts at all about someone.
On the other hand if you get to know someone and they are strangely coy about meeting up perhaps they are already married, or ten years older or younger than they have told you.
Beware of men or women who "love" you within days, they almost definitely have an ulterior motive. When you do decide to meet, take the same precautions over your personal safety that you would with any stranger.
Meet in a public place, tell someone where you are going and with whom, keep your house and car keys with you at all times, be careful about your drink being spiked and take a taxi home so that your date doesn't know your home address. Love and friendship have blossomed from internet love for many people who might otherwise never have met, for whom the computer cursor became Cupid's arrow, just be careful and look after yourself
About the Author:
Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer from England where she has had many features on parenting, childcare, travel, the Internet and many other subjects published in national magazines and newspapers. She has also published a variety of women's and children's fiction. Her work frequently appears at many sites on the Internet and at her own site for women and children All That Women Want.com a magazine, web guide and resource for women everywhere. Subscribe to the FREE monthly e-zine by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org