When I was in SHS, there was a senior who used to beat me and my friends up all the time. He beat us for literally no reason. He would beat us for not being able to move the hands of a clock he had drawn on a wall, and he would even beat us for not being able to win in a dance battle against his roommate (the best dancer in the school, by the way).
So logically we got a phone, we got a random picture of a girl and then we started texting this senior. The long and short of it is, he wanted to meet up. We found the farthest place from the school that we could think of, and we made him break bounds to come and meet someone who was made up. The whole ordeal was tragic for him and hilarious for us.
Anyway, the point is … don’t get catfished because you won’t be laughing at the end of it. Here are some ways to avoid getting catfished online.
1. Be Cautious About Your Online Activity
Yes, the internet makes us all laugh and gives us a constant supply of eye-candy, but it is still quite a dangerous place. If you’re not careful with the links that you click on, the vendors that you buy from and the people that you have conversations with, you might end up in a bad situation. So, in general, just be self-aware about the moves that you make online.
2. Google Them!
A quick google search will usually bring up a person’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even their LinkedIn page. If you meet someone on one of these platforms you can google them to see if they check out on the others. If you don’t find a person you’re talking to online, it’s a pretty good sign that you should be suspicious.
3. The Obvious Tells
If you get a message from a strange account, you are obviously going to check out the account. When you do this, there are some things that should trigger a red flag for you. Is the account newly created? Does the account have a single digit follower count? Is the profile picture on the account the only image on the account?
4. Don’t Give Out Information To Strangers
Whenever you’re talking to somebody new online, you should try as much as possible to withhold personal information from that person. Telling someone too much too soon can just put you in a compromising position if that person has bad intentions. No matter how genuine the connection seems, you should definitely watch what you’re saying to people that you only know online.