“I am very stupid. I am 15 years old and I have been chatting to an older man for a while. After talking with him for a while I gave him both my mobile number and home number, and agreed to meet him. Of course I would never meet him but he keeps on ringing me. Every time he rings I say that Sarah is not in. I am scared of what he can do to track down where I live.”
"A guy asked me for my home address, saying he wanted to send me gifts through the post. He was really creepy and I am so glad I didn’t fall for that one."
"I met this girl called Rachel on the Internet. I gave her my mobile number as I thought she was OK. She now keeps ringing me every hour and then doesn’t say anything when I answer. I am scared."
"Hello, I was very good friends with someone – or so I thought - that I had met online. We spoke on the phone – using my mobile as I didn’t want to give out my home phone number. He says I am going to hear from him. I am really scared." (15 year old boy)
“Although I am not a teenager I have still had a bad experience when I emailed someone I met in a chatroom. He has since been sending me emails with a threatening undertone saying he knows where I live and he knows my full name. I am really worried he might try to find me”
If you give out your personal information to people you have only met online you can't be sure where it will end up, what it will be used for and who may contact you. Sometimes people might try and pressure you, even trick you, into providing this information – one girl said she nearly gave out her address to someone who said that they needed her address because they wanted to send her a present.
- Check out your profiles too. If there is too much personal information about you in your profile you may be contacted by random people you don’t want to be contacted by. So you need to be careful about what information you put in your "profile" in chat, IM, clubs or communities, or when you are using online games, BUT also check your profile even if you haven’t filled one out – sometimes they are filled automatically when you register for the service you are using. As well as being careful about what you put in your profile, think about what you choose as a nickname – it could attract the wrong sort of person.
- When using web or mobile chat you are often asked to give out your Age, Sex & Location (ASL). Stick to your nickname and don't be too specific about where you are.