Online video chatting websites have become immensely popular, so much so that the number of users on these websites are more than the traditional social media platforms. A change in digital communication has taken place with people shifting increasingly to video chat, not only with the known people but also with strangers. Websites like Chatroulette and Omegle, which lost popularity a few years ago, are gaining new and old users. While video chatting sounds fun, one needs to take extreme careful measures to stay safe. The National Security Agency released a statement last year saying, “By following the practical guidelines, users can draw down their risk exposure and become harder targets for malicious threat actors.” For your safety, here are 10 tips to help you sail through a video chat with safety.
1. Do not share private information
In chatting websites, you need to ensure that you only speak about matters that cannot harm you, even if they are leaked. Both a video and an audio call can be recorded, and therefore, you need to think before talking. Do not share all the details in the very first chat. Keep everything casual.
2. Report and block if you are feeling uncomfortable
Many online video chatting websites match a user with a random stranger for a video conversation. While having a chat, if you ever feel uncomfortable, go ahead and report and block the person without hesitation. Try to engage yourself in video chatting websites like Ometv has moderators available round the clock.
3. Feel free to close a chat
For chatting websites that do not come with moderators or the block option, simply close the chat window. There is always an option to end a conversation on chatting websites; use it whenever needed.
4. Do not share information in your chat profile
Many websites require the users to register before allowing them to use their platform. This ensures that the profiles are verified. If you are using a chatting website or app that requires you to register yourself, be mindful of the information that you are sharing in your profile.
5. Do not click on any link
Sometimes, a user might provide you with a link pretending to share perhaps an interesting article. This can be a trap to hack your device. Many people have fallen prey to this, where they ended up compromising their privacy and losing vital information by clicking a link. Do not click on any link provided by a stranger, no matter how tempting it is.
6. Keep your background clean
Your room carries many vital blueprints which you may not want to share with a stranger. When doing a video chat, move to a place where the background is blank, and it provides no unnecessary information to the other user with whom you are talking.
7. Do your research on the chatting platform that you are using
It is a must to know the ins and outs of the chatting platform that you are using. Check whether the video chats can be recorded and downloaded or not, whether it requires registration or you can proceed as a guest user, how the website will use your data. You could also check whether it will allow you to eliminate users by narrowing down the filters. Popular video chatting websites like Chatrandom enables users to filter people based on their preferences.
8. Check out their friend list if you connect with them on other social media platforms
If a conversation goes well and you want to connect to that person in real life, it is advisable that you first connect to them on any social media profiles. Do not forget to check their friend list and profile pictures to check whether the person is genuine or not. One easy way to check whether the profile is real or not is by seeing whether their friends are tagging them or not.
9. Do not share pictures
Simply because you are in a video chat does not mean that it is okay to share pictures. The pictures that you share online can be misused in a variety of ways. Identity theft is rampant due to the misuse of images.
10. Hide your geographical location
It is not advisable to reveal your geographical location to a stranger, and of course, sharing your itinerary is a big no-no.
Whether you engage yourself in a textual conversation or a video conversation on a chatting website, it is suggested that you always keep your guard up.