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How to Protect Yourself from Potential Catfishers

Worried you could be at risk of an online catfisher? Learn about the term and find out some of the best practices you can implement to protect yourself.

Catfishing is the act of being deceived by someone on the other end of your online conversation. It still happens quite frequently. While there are no hard statistics on the subject, everyone has heard the horror stories of finding out someone they’ve met online is not really who they said they are, especially with the popularity of the MTV show. If you’re looking to protect yourself from being embarrassed — or worse, endangered — you should first enable Anti-Hacking on your device to block any phishing and dangerous websites:

Be Suspicious of People You Don’t Know
If you receive a friend request on Facebook, or correspondence from someone you aren’t familiar with, be wary of them. While the line can be tricky to navigate on dating apps, It’s seldom that someone is looking to make new friends and has settled upon you. If someone is looking to start a conversation, be friendly, but practice caution in opening up the conversation right away.

Read More: How to Prevent Identity Theft When You’re Online

Never Give Out Personal Information
This is a big red flag. If someone you’ve met online starts asking for personal information — think addresses, account information, or further contact information — or tries to push for you to disclose revealing information about your life, you might be speaking with someone looking to catfish you. This is certainly not normal behavior, and should raise cause for concern.

Ask for Proof of Who They Are
If you start talking to someone and have a serious connection, but are worried you might be a victim of catfishing, you can always ask for proof of who they are. If they are reluctant to send a photo, or insist their camera is broken, you can promptly cut it off.

Don’t Leave Yourself Exposed
It’s important to make sure the device you’re chatting on or sending messages from is protected in case of loss or theft.

Trust Your Instincts
You can often tell when something doesn’t feel right, and one of your best resources is to trust that instinct. You are best suited in these situations to express judgment and recognize when something or someone is not as they seem. Following this instinct is a great start.

By implementing these tips, you can better protect yourself online and make sure that you won’t be the victim of catfishing. By keeping up your guard during conversations, and making sure your devices and browsing experience are secure, you’ll be able to browse the web safely.