Online Safety

On Chatterbox, your safety and security are our top priority. We want, and actively encourage conversations and sharing with people - some you may know already online, or even in real life and others, you don't know yet at all. Whichever it may be, it's important to look after yourself and be careful what information you share with others.
 

Key Points

It's important that you use common sense when interacting with people online, but here are some key points we believe you should remember:

  1. Some people online are dangerous. They may not necessarily be who you think they are. This extends beyond the expected internet trolls, to individuals who put considerable time and effort into finding people online for whatever motivation.
  2. Never give out your personal or financial information. This includes not disclosing email and physical addresses, URLs, full names and other information such as work and frequently visited places that allow people to build up an idea of your daily routine.
  3. Do not open any website links given to you. We allow previews of all the popular social media, photo/video/music sharing sites in the chat rooms, so it's not necessary to click external links - and the website's main feeds should do the same.
  4. Don't use controversial or provocative display names - this could attract the wrong kind of attention.
  5. You should not share or disclose your password with any third party - even if they are your friend. If you lose your password or give it out, your personal data may be compromised. If your profile is hacked or accessed by somebody else, please report it to our team via our Contact Us page, and use the password reset options to set a new password.
  6. If you come across any inappropriate behaviour, use the report option, where this isn't possible, please use the Contact Us page. There is also a block function if you ever feel uncomfortable with other members or exchanges. Don't put up with abuse or harassment - block the user and/or report them to our team.We aim to deal with these matters as quickly as possible.

 

 

Meeting Up

Online interaction has progressed a lot in recent years, and people are much more open to progressing to real-life meetings than say 20 years ago, when chat rooms and social networks were relatively new. Whilst you may feel excited and happy about meeting someone you've met online, it's always risky. If you do decide to meet them, we recommend the following safety guidelines:

  • When chatting with people, where a meeting seems possible, always ask for recent photos. Try and talk to the other person on the phone first too, this could include a video call.
  • Never feel pressurised into meeting up; only do so when you are ready.
  • Tell someone you trust where you are planning to go, and arrange a check-up call or text. Ensure your phone is fully charged. Let your friends know how it's going and when you get home safely.
  • Arrange to meet in a busy, public place during the day. It should be somewhere you're familiar with, but not on your doorstep. If you meet somewhere else, arrange your own transport, don't be reliant on the other person.
  • Stay sober! Alcohol lowers inhibitions. If you do drink, don't drink too much and keep your drink and belongings within sight at all times.
  • Keep your first meeting brief, there's less pressure and expectation and if you do find you're not interested in them, you don't have to spend too much time with them.
  • It can be quite different meeting some people in person, outside of the familiarity of the online setting you got to know them on. Try to avoid awkward silences, have some fun stories to fall back on.
  • Lastly, go with your gut! If you have a feeling something isn't right, don't ignore it. If you feel like you're not safe, get out ASAP.

 

Photos

Do not automatically trust pictures that somebody sends you. It's possible to reverse-image search photos online to see if it's been taken from another site. With that in mind, we recommend that the photos you post of yourself on here, aren't the same ones you've used publicly elsewhere, eg on Facebook.
You can stop Search Engines from including your Facebook profile in such results by disabling this setting (links to Facebook settings).

We'd also like to point out, that we consider using others peoples photos to present as themselves, unethical, likely copyright violating, and potentially fraudulent/malicious. Users should report such photos, and if we find it to be the case, we will take action.

 

Scams

Regardless of what measures are put in place to block, restrict or filter people trying to scam people, some inevitably get through. Don't call or text a number posted to you, or in a chat room - you could unwittingly be calling a premium rate number. Don't bother adding seemingly tempting snapchat/skype usernames you encounter in the rooms either, it will ALWAYS belong to someone wanting to part you from your money.

 


Below provides more in-depth information on what we provide to assist in keeping you and the Service, safe and secure.

 

Safety Tools

In the chat rooms, we have a few methods of dealing with problem users and content. The primary method that everyone has, and we strongly recommend its use, is the 'Ignore' option. This will ignore all messages sent from them, including private ones. We also provide a reporting feature which allows you to notify the moderators of a user who is breaking rules - this will alert moderators and administrators who can review it and take action. Please note that this isn't always instant, and we always recommend you also block the user when reporting, so you can carry on chatting in the mean-time.

On the website (feeds, photos, forums, etc), we have the same above options but in a slightly different format. Blocking a user will prevent you seeing anything from them and also stop them seeing you. The report function has a few options, please use it to report suspected/witnessed rule breaking, and users otherwise behaving suspiciously.

 

Moderators

Chatterbox has a moderation team to supervise the website and chat rooms and ensure that all Service rules and standards are adhered to. We are a moderated service, this is a decision we make, for the safety and security of the users and service. If you feel you're unable to adhere to reasonable Terms of Use and our Community Standards, which aren't dissimilar to what would be expected/acceptable on the high street, or take offence at taking instruction from moderators, then you should find another service to use.

Moderators can eject people from the rooms at any time. If a user is abusing or harassing you, please use the report feature (mentioned above), or speak to a room moderator. Please note that moderators are volunteers, giving their free time to help provide a safe and enjoyable environment. Also note: moderators DO NOT have access to Private Messages.

Moderators are marked by @ signs before their display name in the chat room user lists, and in their messages. For your information, users with % signs are trainee moderators, and still have the authority to enforce room rules. If a user states they are a moderator when they do not have an ~, &, @, or % sign by their name, you do not have to follow their instructions.

 

Security

Chatterbox takes security very seriously. Your internet address (IP), is visible ONLY to moderators and admin. All passwords are stored using a one-way hash (irreversible encryption), and all data between yourself and our servers is encrypted.

Please bear in mind that we operate a 24/7 logging policy, in which all the content of the rooms is logged and saved. This is to assist the enforcement of our Terms, and where legally required, to assist the police or other enforcement agencies. By logging in, and using Chatterbox, you accept that we monitor and review chat content where necessary.

Also note that we have systems in place that block certain keywords and inappropriate terms. This system is also capable of automatically taking action, including disconnecting and preventing further access to any/all chat rooms.

You must never give your Chatterbox password out to anyone - this includes all members of staff. You should also avoid giving out your email, although admin may request it if helping you with access issues. You are responsible for all actions that occur under your display name, as stated in our Terms of Service, and also for the general security of your account. We've been doing this long enough to not fall for the "somebody else accessed my device" excuse, when somebody is banned for posting something.
   If you get locked out of your account, use the Password Request option, to get back in, and set a new password.

Chatterbox has a dedicated Security Team comprising of experienced administrators and service operators who monitor all the traffic and content passing through the service, in case of undesirable users. They also have the ability to deny access to any, or all parts of the service to anyone suspected or proven to be acting against the best interests of the Service, as moderators can in the case of rooms.