|Chatting Safely on Yahoo!|
Yahoo! Chat allows people from all over the world to chat, make friends and build communities. Chat can be an enriching experience but everyone should be aware that, like in any public area on the Internet or the "real world", there are people who want to take advantage of people’s trust.
To help create a safe chatting experience, we have put together this guide to help our customers protect themselves while online.
Creating an ID for Chatting
Each person who ventures online needs an ID - a unique nickname (or alias) that allows him or her to be recognized while participating in the Internet community.
Yahoo! Chat offers members the ability to chat under aliases, which allows them to hide their email addresses. We encourage you to use these features to protect your identity and prevent random contact with people you do not know or trust.
For instructions on creating and using an alias, click here.
Remember, your alias is one way that the Yahoo! online community will be able to identify you; let them wonder. You don't want strangers to know too much about you just from reading your ID.
Online IDs can communicate something about the person behind them, so be certain of what you are willing to share. For example, the name "Butterflyfan" communicates that this user might be fond of butterflies. There is little risk of someone being able to distinguish one fan of butterflies from the millions of others who exist in the world. On the other hand, the name "Butterflies4Jane" may go too far. It provides someone with a name - both a conversation starter and a misguided sense of familiarity.
When creating a new online ID, you may want to leave out the following personal information:
Whatever you choose, remember that your ID should be suitable, not too revealing, and (most important) fun.
Using an Alias
Use following steps to pick your alias before entering Yahoo! Chat:
A Chat window will pop up with your ID on the right side of the screen. You will also see a list of all the people that are currently in the room.
Tips for Safe Chatting
Don’t chat about things that could enable a stranger to locate you. That includes your last name, the name of your school or work place, the city you live in, and where you hang out.
Protect your info. Don’t put identifiable information in your user profile, including photos. What's uploaded to the Internet can be downloaded and shared by everyone. Avoid posting photos that allow people to identify you, especially sexually suggestive images. Before uploading a photo, think about how you'd feel if it were seen by a parent, friend, or future employer.
Never meet with someone you encounter in a chat room unless you already know who they are.
Be honest about your age. Yahoo Chat is restricted to users who are 18 years of age or older. If you are too young to sign up, do not attempt to lie about your age. Talk with your parents about alternative sites that may be appropriate for you.
For more information about online safety, as well as how to handle and report abuse on Yahoo! Chat, please visit the following Yahoo! sites:
Acceptable behavior on Yahoo!
Handling abusive chatters
If you encounter abuse in a Chat room
Reporting Chat abuse