From the early days of IRC chat rooms to modern apps that include everything from nuclear physics to the dankest of memes, online communication has come a long way. But, as the niche narrows, we need to remember to have our identity protected, and our anonymous IP address enabled if we want to be safe online.
Different types of chat rooms pose varying threats. Keeping the same precautionary measures can help us stay safe at all times, and learning about these tricks early will let us have a much nicer time communicating online.
The two main sides of chat room security and etiquette are technical and personal. On the technical side, you need a premium VPN such as Le VPN to portray an anonymous IP address to anyone snooping. And on the personal side, you need to use restraint and keep up with your cyber hygiene.
Chat Rooms, Forums, and Streams
We have the ever-annoying online journalists to thank for the term ‘chat room’ itself being removed from many products. App developers now prefer calling their services ‘messengers’ or ‘communication platforms,’ running away from the scare of strange people online communicating with you.
But, that communication is the base of websites such as Twitter, Reddit, or Discord. There is little technical difference between these platforms and the P2P chats of old.
Much of the same rules apply to all of these platforms, with those that discourage anonymity like Facebook or Instagram being a lot more dangerous than those where the platform itself doesn’t care who you are.
Here’s a Little Lesson in Trickery
We need to understand that very few people online are avid hackers and can extrapolate your IP address from your chat responses. Most bad people online are more akin to cartoonish villains that don’t have an actual idea of how they would harm you.
But, if you provide any information that they can use, you will directly increase their chances to harm either your device or your person. Most hacks come from catfishing or phishing, not from brute force hacks.
Ideally, we would have an online persona communicating with everyone at all times, but that is not always possible. In these cases, we need to reduce the amount of private information to a minimum.
There is no rule that you can’t offer a pseudonym on dating apps, or use a customer ID number when talking to tech support. You don’t need to mix your entire identity at any point when you are online.
Official Chats and Tech Support
While not always easy to stay anonymous when it comes to your name, requesting tech support or contacting someone in an official capacity can often be intercepted by hackers or snoopers. They know how lucrative these chats can be and might try to hack the source rather than your device.
Thankfully, with a Le VPN membership, you can have access to free VPN servers that will mask your IP address. Once you are concealed digitally, you just need to remember that no one, in their official capacity, will ever ask you for your login credentials or personal data. If that happens, close the chat and report the correspondence to their higher-ups.
Regardless if you prefer Discord, Twitch, or even YouTube, these are some of the least secure places when it comes to direct hacks or attacks. The sheer number of people present increases the chance that some of them are dangerous.
Your online persona should be vastly different than your IRL identity, preferably even changing countries. Also, using a proxy browser to access these services is a good idea, as it can shield you from random cookies or pieces of virus code that you may stumble upon while chatting.
This is where things get dicey. Most people tend to relinquish their online persona for private messages, including dating apps, as they believe that it is safe. Additionally, some apps will have issues with a remote VPN server if they need your location to function.
But this doesn’t mean you should go all up and honest just because it is a one on one conversation.
Even if you want to use your own picture, change the name, age, and location a bit. And if they notice that your IP address tracker shows a place halfway across the world, you have a stalker on your hands, and the block button is advisable.
Protecting Your Identity
The two cornerstones of online safety are your VPN and your avatar. The VPN is there to protect your device and remove the possibility of someone tracking and hacking you through your connection. Having an anonymous IP address will channel all malicious entities online to a highly secure server, and not your home devices.
And, the same way your VPN protects from computers, your avatar protects you from real people online who will notice that your devices are secure. This online persona is not a ‘fake account,’ but rather an identity you have taken.
Also, a smart idea would be to protect your online persona as much as you would your real identity, not giving out more information than necessary. This will make that avatar last longer.
Chat rooms are not bad and don’t pose any more danger than using any other mode of online communication. If you enjoy discussing ideas and chatting with strangers, you should go for it.
With a premium VPN provider like Le VPN, your devices will be safe, and with a bit of thought in your online persona, you will keep hackers of a wild goose chase while you enjoy all aspects of the internet.
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