In our world nowadays, we can do so many things without leaving the comfort of our own home. We can shop, we can work, and we can do almost anything. It will be not exaggerating if we say that we live in an online world.

Growing up, we all have been warned by our parents, our teachers, and many other adults – “Don’t talk to strangers.” But nowadays we meet people online and open up with them instantly. We share almost all our life events and day to day activities on the internet. We trust them completely after a few chats or emotional exchange
of words.

Every other day we hear or read news about how a girl falls victim on hands if online friends. We hear tales of how they met online and after chatting they met offline and in most cases end up as the victim. There are risks involved in all relationships, but in online dating, it is especially needed to consider our safety.  There are many stories of sincere people who have trusted a stranger, believed and end up regretting it.

Many online relationships work out well, but mostly we hear how it ends up with cheating.

Risk of identity Theft

When speaking to strangers online, always use common sense and a sense of caution. Never share any personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, or birth dates, about you, your family or your friends while chatting. If they will have access to this information, it becomes virtually easy for that person or others that you may not be aware of to steal your identity. Also note that if a person asks for any of your personal information, you should stop speaking to them immediately.

Personal Danger

Internet dating sites contain a variety of people, and some of those individuals are predators looking for unsuspecting victims. Warning signs of a psychologically deranged individual maybe someone you cue into quickly; they may write incoherent or threatening messages to you or others, or they may admit to a violent past. However, more often than not, predators disguise themselves and come across as kind and charming in the beginning. However, note that if the person sounds too good to be true, they probably are, and that is a warning sign to avoid them. To help avoid bringing any danger upon yourself or others close to you, take time to get to know the person as thoroughly as you can before you decide to meet them. When a meeting time has been discussed, be sure to meet in a very public place, such as a restaurant, and alert your family and friends to where you’re going, who you’re going with and when you expect to return. Give the person’s name and
phone number, so they have some information if anything happens. Avoid the less crowded area. Never accept drinks or pre-ordered food. It is advisable to keep your eyes open and on guard always.

Teenagers are easy Targets

Children and young teenagers are often targeted on the Internet for paedophiles. Children use the internet frequently and often without guidance. Child sex offenders actively look for young girls and boys on social networking sites and chat rooms. With children’s trustworthy natures and the anonymity of the Internet, sex offenders often try to exploit them by accessing these sites. To avoid offenses, parents should carefully monitor their children’s Internet access. They should sit down with their younger children as they go online and speak with them about the importance of being careful while using the Internet. Placing blocks on certain sections of the internet is one way to avoid sexual deviants getting access to children’s information. Always watch what your child is browsing over the internet.

So, always keep in mind these facts whenever you are getting cosy with anyone. In today’s world it is too easy for people to wear masks. Never judge a person by their outward appearance neither trust anyone blindly.

About the author

Sneha Prakash is an Entrepreneur, Teacher, Feminist, Literary Critic, Book reviewer, Writer, Culinarian, Mother, Wife & Daughter. She is Certified in Feminist Studies at IIT Madras and holds Master’s degree in English Literature from IGNOU. She runs her online classes and write columns and reviews for different websites and magazines. She writes stories which are hugely admired. She is an avid reader.

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