Just as you need to be aware of fraudstars, conmen and gangsters in the real world,
so to do you need to be fully aware of such persons on IRC.
In real life we meet and talk to many different people everyday. we do this when
we go to buy something in the shops, for example: We may have a interesting conversation
in passing with someone in the store we don't even know. But we always follow certain
instincts to keep our distance until we get to know them better.
When you chatting on IRC its no different. You can meet very nice people online,
but you will also make contact with some very scrupleless people - just like one
does in real life. In order to ensure that your time on IRC is pleasant and safe
, its important to follow some simple logical do nots. There are many people out
there, and you have no idea to who it is you're really chatting to. Even if people
come across nice, don't be fooled by their charm. You could be chatting to a fraudstar,
conmen or gangster - you just don't know. Always keep your wits about you when chatting
on IRC. Never let your guard down. The moment you do, you become caught. Its amazing
how many people find themselves in a sticky situation that could have easily been
avoided, had they followed some very simple and logical procedures.
Never give your real name, email address, home address, phone number, or school name
to anyone you meet online. Even though they seem nice. And do not ask them for this
information either. Don’t call them if they give you their number - they might have
a Caller Line Identity facility on their cell phone, which will show them the number
you're calling from, and even on their Telkom landline they could have the same caller
line identify facility .
Never arrange to meet someone you've met online unless you let someone like a family
member, or a friend know of your intentions of meeting them first. If possible, go
with someone to meet them in a public place. Remember that people online may not
be who they say they are. People lie. Show someone a picture of the person you are
meeting. Let a friend or family member know who it is you're supposed to be meeting,
and where you are meeting them. Don’t send your picture online to a stranger. Meet
during the daytime and use your own transport if possible. Verify if the picture
you have of them is a genuine picture of who they really are. If they or you have
skype, or windows live, setup a real online video meet first. Don't believe the picture
they sent you of themselves to be authentic, unless you have some way of verifying
When someone asks for a private chat with you, be extra careful about any private
information you reveal about yourself to them - you have no way of knowing who the
other person really is. If you start receiving chat messages that are dirty, scary,
offensive, or those that somehow don't feel right, listen to your gut instinct and
abort the chat with them, and put them on ignore.
If they won't stop harassing you - alert one of the ops on the channel. If someone
is harassing you while online, the best thing to do is to put them on ignore. Just
type /ignore <nickname> where <nickname> is the nickname of the person harassing
you. Don't respond to "flaming" (abusive messages targeted at you). Report it to
an op immediately and put the person on ignore. If you flirt online, be prepared
to handle the consequences of that.
Get out of an online situation that has become hostile. Quit and come back with a
different nick. But remember, even coming back with a different nick, they will be
able to still figure out who you are, by your IP address. So be careful. Find out
more about a person before you arrange to meet them. Check to see if the nick is
registered, by doing: /msg nickserv info <NickToCheck> replace the <NickToCheck>
with the actual nick you want to check,and take note for how long the nick has been
registered for. This will give you an indication if the person is a IRC regular.
Be extra careful if the nick is not registered at all. Never trust anyone.
Never say it will never happen to me, because it can and in all likely hood might
just. Be alert and know, if it can happen to someone, and has happend to someone,
it can happen to you too.