Health & Safety
If you want to webcam chat you have to be aware of a few things. First of all, you will encounter people who want things you do not want. Therefore:
Never do anything you don't want or are not comfortable with
Even if people threaten you or tip very high you have to be aware that you are always your own boss. They can not make you do anything you don't want. It is advisable to read the site rules and broadcaster agreement of a website before you start broadcasting or, if it costs money, before you subscribe to it. If site rules do not allow you enough freedom to do what you want you should look up another site. If site rules require you to do things you don't want don't be afraid. The worst thing they can do is ban you. And most probably the site was not for you anyway.
Be careful with personal information
Be aware that people who want your personal information are likely to abuse it to threaten or blackmail you, or worse. Some people will act nice and very friendly to try to get that kind of information from you, but may turn out creepy and hostile when they have it. In some cases even your first name in combination with a special hobby or anything may be enough to trace you.
Be aware you are in a dangerous and sometimes hostile environment. You will be safe at home, as long as people on the chatsites do not know where your home is. You will encounter many nice and decent people even on sexually explicit websites, but there may always be people around who are not what they seem.
- Never tell your last name on a webcam chatsite. Also not on a recreational site.
- Never tell the name of the company you work for. A girl told the city she lives in and the hardware store she worked in. It was easy to find the 3 locations of that store near her home town, and pinpoint the exact location where she worked.
- If you live in a small town, don't tell what town.
- Never give your personal phone number or email. Do not give a phone number of your best enemy on the site. (S)he may find out you are on a chatsite and use it against you.
- Never give a personal Facebook or Twitter that holds information about your personal life.
- Do not use the same username on webcam chatsites as on personal sites like Facebook or the website of your volleyball club.
- Keep real life and online friends separated. If you want it, make separate e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Yahoo or whatever for use on chatsites.
- Be careful with pictures and files you post. It is possible to use hitech search functions (Google reverse lookup) to find copies of te same file somewhere else on the internet. If you post the same file unedited on a personal site and a chatsite, you can be traced.
If somebody threatens you, notify the website administrators. If it gets nasty, go to the police or a lawyer. You may be embarassed about what you do while webcam chatting, but if you are in danger or being blackmailed, talk to people close to you who you can trust. Preferably family or real life friends. If anyone can help you it is them.
Many sites allow you to block the area you are in from view. Depending on what you want on the webcam chatsite you may want to do that. Usually the chances your nextdoor neighbour sees you on cam are extremely small. It will just be to make you feel better.