How To Maintain Your Privacy And
Safety When Meeting People Online
By Robert Lee
The Choosiest Dating Service Directory
The Internet is ever growing. More people online
means more people to meet. Wherever you click to, you’ll find a
discussion board, a forum, and a poll to voice your opinion, something
to join and be a part of. All this leads to interaction with others
online. How can you maintain your privacy? How can you protect yourself
from the “cyber stalkers” that can terrorize online buddies, email
friends and dating service love interests?
Follow the aLoveLinksPlus.com Rules For Online Safety
and you will not easily fall victim to harassment online and “cyber
Always use an anonymous web based email address to
sign up for anything online! Email services such as available at
Hotmail, Yahoo, “ Free dateme Email” at
http://www.alovelinksplus.com/email.htm and others allow you to send
and receive email without revealing any personal information. The email
address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gave you, surprising
enough, will send along with the email message headers plenty of
personal information describing your location, your ISP, sometimes even
your real name. Do you want this information going to somewhere you’ve
just joined online or on a forum or discussion list where you just
voiced your opinion? Are you ready to have your personal and private
email address published on a web page for anyone to see and send to you
email you aren’t prepared for (spam)?
You can protect yourself by using free web based
email service addresses for any program, club, dating service,
newsletter, discussion list, forum or anything else that requires an
email address from you. Of course, the beginnings of protecting yourself
starts with signing up for an anonymous email service using your ISP
given email address to begin with. Look for a service that provides
forwarding of email messages to your ISP email address. This way, should
you change ISP’s you can change your forwarding address only, and not
have to email everyone you know about your change of address!
www.mail.com offers this service.
Check them out!
Know your Instant Messenger Service (IM). Did you
know that some versions of IM’s will expose your Internet Protocol (IP)
Address? These 10 to 12 digit numbers will reveal who your ISP is and
what your location is. With “dial-up” Internet access, this is not too
much of a threat, as you receive a different IP address every time you
dial into the Internet. But with high speed access being more available,
if you have this type of access you always have the same IP address.
With just a couple of clicks and the right program, someone can find out
your home address in under 15 seconds! Read the privacy information
available on any IM service you are using and understand how to protect
your IP address, your private email address and any other information
that may be displayed to someone sending you a message. Never send or
reply to a message from someone you don’t know!
Never re-use user, account or nicknames! Most
services will ask for you a user name, nickname, account name or some
other such identifier that you use to log in with along with your
password that is revealed to other users. It is very important that with
each and every service you sign up for you have a unique user name
(identifier). If someone decides to give you too much attention online,
or starts “cyber stalking” you, you should “move on” to the next service
(after reporting them and closing your account, of course). But, if you
use the same user or account name somewhere else, eventually they’ll
find you again! And again! And again!
Know the service you are using. Almost every online
service that asks for any type of personal information from you will
copy of the email address you need to report someone that harasses you
through that service. Save it with your user name and password
information, wherever you write that down. If at any time you are
uncomfortable about revealing private information about yourself, leave
the form blank. If it is required information, contact the company and
explain why you do not want to provide such information to them. Either
receive a response at all. If you don’t receive a response, consider it
a blessing in disguise!
What to do if you become the victim of a “cyber
Don’t panic. Send an email to the service and report
the person that is giving you unwarranted attention. Include details
such as copies of emails and messages you have received, their user name
and other information you know or have received. If the harassment has
only been through electronic communication (online), close your account
with the service where the harassment took place. Get a new account name
and email address from your main ISP, or change ISP’s. Cancel or close
any web based email services and IM services that you have used to
contact this person or that they have contacted you through.
If the harassment has been offline as well as online,
contact your local police or authorities and make a formal complaint and
statement against that person. Contact your local phone company and
change your phone number.
Remember, the odds are in your favour that the people
you meet are “normal” and will not harass you. But you can never be too
safe and that is what we are trying to help you be, safe. Not paranoid,
These are the guidelines to follow to protect your
privacy so that the unthinkable will not happen to you!
This article is
© 2000 cheerful attitude web design,
and Robert Lee. It is available for reproduction in any format and for
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