Important Safety Features of Chat Apps

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Chatting online with strangers can be entertaining, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. After all, you never quite know who you’re talking to. So how do you make sure that you stay safe while still having fun online? By choosing the right chat app, of course! An option like Dirtyroulette gives its users plenty of filters, chat rooms, and more, but they also provide various safety features to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible.

Which safety features should you look for, though? Most chat apps will use some combination of the features mentioned below, so you’ll have to decide which ones are essential, and which are negotiable. 

Customizable or hidden location settings

A lot of chat apps give you the option to filter by location, and guess what that means? The app is telling people where you live, at least in a broad sense. In most cases, other users can only see which country you live in; that isn’t a problem at all. For some apps, though, there’s also a filter to find people by city. Is this a definite risk? Not necessarily. The thing to find out is whether anyone can see your address (if you’ve put that in your profile), or even your general neighborhood. That’s where things start getting hairy; if someone chooses you as a target for harassment, this information is enough for them to do some damage.

Some chat apps are very clear about keeping this information private, while others give you the option to obscure it from other users. If this is a concern for you, make sure you do a little homework to ensure that your home address won’t be leaked to thousands of strangers online.

The option to sign up without linking to social media

Both chat apps and social media accounts are all about making connections online, but they don’t necessarily mix well. Some chat apps actually require you to sign up with a social media account (usually Facebook, Instagram, or Google+), while others simply provide the option so you can save time. Either way, that isn’t always a great idea. Just like revealing your address or neighborhood, your social media accounts probably contain personal details that a troll or a scammer could seriously take advantage of. For example, the place you attended school, or the location of your current job, isn’t something you want widely known online. Even if it seems convenient, it’s best to avoid linking any social media accounts to a chat app.

Control over your personal details

This is actually why so many people choose anonymous chat apps; it’s an easy way to ensure that their personal details are absolutely secure. Some chat apps don’t even require registration, so there’s no chance that sensitive information could accidentally be exposed. What about the ones that aren’t anonymous, though? Some of them let people connect and network on the platform, so there’s a good chance that you’ll have a public profile of some kind. If that’s the case, confirm beforehand how much of your profile will be visible to other users, and whether or not you can adjust settings to determine how much is kept hidden. Details like your address, contact information, or date of birth could all be mis-used, so it’s best to keep them away from the public eye.

The ability to block and report

Nothing can end an undesirable conversation quite like blocking the other party. As you go from one chat partner to another, you’ll most likely encounter a few skeevy characters. Whether it’s NSFW content or plain old insults, behavior that clearly violates the platform’s terms of service should have consequences. If someone crosses a line with you, it’s important for you to prevent them from getting back in touch. Plus, if you report them as well, they won’t be able to do the same thing with other users. 

The option to use a virtual face mask

It’s great to keep your personal details hidden, but what about your face? One of the risks of chat apps is that your conversations might be recorded and used against you somehow. The security of anonymity means that some people feel safer about sharing secrets or vulnerabilities that they don’t normally talk about, even though they’re chatting with complete strangers. If that gets recorded, though, it could come back to bite them. One way of keeping your identity safe is to use a virtual face mask; that way you’ll still be able to talk face-to-face, but you won’t be compromising your identity. 

The ability to filter by gender

The truth is that women on chat apps often deal with unwanted male attention. It could be as innocent as incessant compliments, or it could veer into harassment territory. Whatever the case, sometimes women just need a break. If you’re a woman on a chat app and you’re ready for a change of pace, see if you can filter to chat with females only. It’s a quick and easy fix, but it works like a charm. 

Machine learning software to find the bad apples

Just because chat apps have clear terms of service doesn’t mean that all the users follow them. If a chat app makes a priority of preventing inappropriate behavior, there are several ways to address the issue. Some of them have a setting that keeps you from getting matched with potentially inappropriate chat partners, while others use cutting-edge software to flag and remove users who display certain warning signs. If you want to avoid this issue as much as possible, look for a chat app that offers this type of safety feature. 

Even with robust safety features, you should still exercise a certain degree of caution.

Keeping your profile private is great, but it won’t do you much good if you tell people your personal details yourself! In addition to whatever safety precautions are offered by your chosen chat app, there’s still nothing quite like common sense. Combine the two, and you’ll be good to go!