Chatting is a phenomenon that has become unique to the Internet. It suddenly turned out that chatting with strangers from all over the world in real time is fun and exciting. Yes, chats are not as safe as they could be, but if you don't forget about a couple of simple precautions, you will discover a whole world of interesting opinions and people who also hang out in the chats! Read this article to start chatting, learn general rules and regulations, and protect yourself from trolls and other intruders.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing a Chat Client
Step 1. Think about what you need from the chat
Will you mostly communicate with your friends? Or maybe with strangers? There are different programs and services for different types of chats. Think about what interests you more - one-on-one communication with friends and relatives, or, say, communication in large chats, where several people communicate at the same time? Do you want to chat in chats that anyone can join, or do you want to communicate directly with strangers, one-on-one, so to speak? And how anonymous do you want to remain?
Step 2. Use a program to directly exchange messages with friends and family
The most important thing to consider in this case is what program the people with whom you want to communicate are using. To communicate with people, you must have the same program / service that they have.
- It is likely that your friends and family are already using some social network that has messaging functionality, such as VKontakte or Facebook. Actually, this functionality will allow you to communicate with other users of this social network from a computer or mobile device (it would be desirable to add them as friends).
- Skype is one of the most popular direct messaging programs, which, by the way, bypasses social networks in terms of anonymity. Judge for yourself, you don't even need to provide your real name to register! Some time ago Skype and MSN (another popular chat application) merged so that all MSN users became Skype users.
- For smartphones, there is simply the widest selection of different chat applications: Kik, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and so on. To communicate with other people through them, you will first need to add them to your contact list.
- You will be able to communicate both one-on-one and create groups, as well as exchange photos and other files.
Step 3. Use chats accessible from the browser
There are also many such chat services. As a rule, they are anonymous - you can always hide behind a pseudonym. Popular sites of this type include:
- Omeggle and ChatRoulette are direct messaging services that allow you to chat with a random user. Also, these services may ask you for access to the webcam, then you can chat with the video. The choice of the interlocutor is absolutely random.
- There are also many sites with chat room functionality, and chat can be either text or video. Here you can think of sites like Yahoo! Chat, Tinychat, Spinchat and others.
Step 4. Use the chat client to connect to chat rooms
Yes, this format of communication is becoming less and less popular, but to this day there are many large and active communities of this type. Some can be connected via a browser, some using special programs.
- IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is the oldest service of this type that exists on the network today. There you can find chat rooms for every taste and interest. To access all this wealth, you only need to download the IRC client (which is usually free).
- ICQ is another chat protocol that dates back to the days of antiquity. You can communicate in this way through many programs: the official ICQ client, Trillian, Pidgin, and so on.
Step 5. Use other methods
All that we have listed above is far from all. There are many more ways to communicate with people online. Online games, educational courses and jobs, technical support and much more are unthinkable these days without chat functionality. However, keep in mind that all these communities have their own rules and standards of communication.
Part 2 of 3: General Chat Guidelines
Step 1. Know why you need rules of conduct
In fact, they are needed so that everyone communicates politely. The need for something like netiquette has been talked about a long time ago, when the ability to leave messages anonymously led to an increase in the number of insults and unpleasant behavior on the network. Everyone who practices netiquette when communicating does their part to maintain a friendly and constructive online community.
Step 2. Remember that there is a person behind each nickname
Always ask yourself - would you say this all to a person's face? Even if your identity is hidden by a pseudonym, this does not mean that you should be rude and think that you will not get anything for it.
Netiquette depends a lot on who and where you are communicating with. For example, when communicating with friends, you will have completely different boundaries of what is acceptable
Step 3. Say hello by entering the chat
When you enter the chat, all its users will see the corresponding notification, so say hello. If you join the chat and remain silent, it will be perceived with caution. The purpose of chats is to allow people to communicate, so do it!
Plus, saying hello is also just polite. And if you are actively involved in discussions, then it will not be superfluous to say goodbye. Other chat users will remember this and will continue to treat you more friendly
Step 4. Don't write in capital letters
It is perceived as a cry, and it is just difficult to read. Leave capital letters in case you need to emphasize something, but don't use them in every line!
Step 5. Do not flood
This is especially important if you are logged into a chat room with many users. For reference: a flood is the sending of many messages one after another at short intervals. This interferes with normal communication with other people, and you will begin to be perceived as a small pest. Flood is the surest way to forcibly disconnect you from the chat.
Step 6. Don't threaten or humiliate other users
There are chat rooms for almost every taste and color. Accordingly, there is every chance that sooner or later you will stumble upon a chat where something will be discussed that you do not like, with which you disagree, etc. Instead of branding left and right, just exit this chat and go to another chat. Yes, good arguments are good, useful and interesting (especially when the topic is controversial), but that does not mean that you should make people think your way.
Step 7. Learn the network abbreviations and use them wisely
Chatting has turned a lot of phrases into acronyms. The classics of the genre are “lol” (very funny), “brb” (I'll be back soon), “IMHO” (in my opinion), “emnip” (if my memory serves me right) and so on. In addition, each online community has its own abbreviations.
- Never use abbreviations blindly. Many of them can cause a negative reaction to your message if you make a mistake with the rate of use.
- Again, only use abbreviations when the situation allows. Few people want to see the word “lol” in response to the phrase “my friend is sick”.
Step 8. Don't forget about grammar
Yes, usually in chats, grammar is not remembered, this is a fact. However, chat is not the same. If you communicate on business, then you should still remember what you were taught at school, and write in competent Russian, without mistakes and blunders … at least if possible.
Monitor how other users communicate and draw conclusions for yourself. If no one uses acronyms or worries about spelling, then stick to this style. If everyone communicates in full sentences and shakes over every comma … the same
Part 3 of 3: Communicating Safely
Step 1. Hide your identity
Unless you communicate through a chat client that is associated with your personal data (the same social networks), then you should communicate not under your real name, but under a pseudonym. And do not leave any hints by which you can be identified! Use nicknames derived from the names of characters in books or films, from hobbies and the like - in general, anything that will help you protect your personal data.
Step 2. Do not disclose your personal information to anyone other than people you absolutely trust
There are a lot of cunning people on the Internet who are just waiting for you to open up to them in order to use your data at their discretion. Protect your personal data on the Internet as if you were in an unfamiliar place with something of value.
- Do not tell your passwords to anyone at all! Even if you are texted by a "chat worker conducting a check." All companies can reset your password and gain access to your account if necessary, and they do not need to know the password to do so. If someone asked for your password, it's most likely an attacker!
- If you are communicating with video, then make sure that nothing is included in the frame by which you can be identified. People are sometimes surprisingly quick-witted and can recognize your personality from seemingly completely insignificant clues. Remove all letters addressed to you from the table, since they have your address on them, and check if there is a diploma or certificate with your name hanging on the wall opposite the webcam.
Step 3. Do not meet with anyone from the chat, unless you are sure that it is safe
Yes, a lot of people then use chat rooms to meet new people on the other side of the screen, and there is nothing wrong with that … as long as you are confident that the meeting will be safe. People can pretend to be anyone online, so make sure you trust the person before meeting.
- Always warn someone to go out to meet someone they know online. Tell me where you are going and when you will return.
- Always make appointments in public places during the day. Never agree if you are scheduled to meet with you or someone you are talking to at home.
Step 4. Remember that whatever you say is stored on the servers
Yes, it is unlikely that your correspondence will be read by competent comrades, but still remember that everything is recorded on the Internet. Messages, IP addresses and the date the message was sent are saved, and that's the minimum. If you use chats against the letter of the law, then all this can be raised and used against you. Always act as if all your messages are being read by someone else.