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Online flirting: be aware of predators

Every day criminals and sick people take advantage of the internet’s anonymity to take advantage of unsuspecting people old and young.

Sometimes sick-minded adults join chat rooms and social forums and pretend to be teenagers or young adults. 

They spend months learning the language teenagers use and the topics teenagers are passionate bout. Then they start to participate in the discussions 

If you read what these imposters write including the words they use and the topics they discuss, you would never guess that there is an adult on the other side

Internet or online predators invest weeks and months in online chatting, building relationships with teenagers, and slowly gaining their trust

Once they have developed a special connection with somebody, they have found a potential victim

From that day on they concentrate their effort on setting up a private in-person meeting, which seems like the natural evolution of the virtual relationship.

Whatever doubts or hesitations their victims might show, they always have a good answer ready. They manipulate their victims by using whatever weakness they find. 

There is no way to know whether the person on the other side of an online chat is really who he or she claims to be. Accepting a meeting alone with this person might be a step towards danger. 

For this reason, virtual relationships should stay online. You should never reveal your personal information. 

What’s more, you should never agree to meet in person especially not privately. You don’t want to put yourself in a vulnerable situation with nobody around to help you

Online flirting: nothing gets erased

People who flirt or chat over the internet should always be aware of a serious risk: the internet has an eternal memory, which means nothing is ever truly erased.

Information on the internet is copied and stored in so many places that erasing something is almost impossible

What does this mean for internet flirters? 

It means that the internet holds way more of their personal information than they might realize

The internet stores all the pictures you have posted, all the stories you have written, and all the comments you have posted on various issues. 

It also saves information about all the items you have bought, all of your subscriptions and memberships, and all of the emails lists or news feeds you have joined 

From your point of view, all of this information might be in the past and forgotten but the internet doesn’t forget: all of it will stay somewhere in cyberspace, linked to you forever. 

But who cares, right? You are just a regular person; nobody’s going to waste time digging around your digital history.

Well, if you think that way, you are wrong! Given the growing importance of the internet in our lives, lots of professionals are searching online to find information about all of us

This means that sexy or embarrassing pictures you posted years ago, racist and tribal jokes you tagged, or inappropriate statements you wrote could give you trouble even several years after the fact

Retrieving and putting together this information is getting easier every day. 

Before posting something online always ask yourself this question: “five years or ten years from now, am I going to be happy to have this information associate with me?”  There are pretty good chances someone will find it 

Did you learn something?

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