Five Tips to Stay Safe on Kik
Kik is an incredible social messaging platform on which people from all over the world can communicate with each other through messages, photos, videos, stickers, and more. It helps to connect you with your friends, family, and even strangers abroad. However, like with all forms of internet communication, you must be safe when you’re online. Here are five helpful tips to make your Kik experience a fun and safe one.
Do not share personal information
While there are always exceptions, like your grandma asking for your email address, or your distant cousin wanting to know your address so they can send you a gift, you mustn’t share your personal information with others. For instance, the stranger you’ve been talking to for weeks may be insistent on getting to know your number and address so they can visit you, but how much do you actually know of them, and are they even who they say they are?
If you are willing to share this information, please talk to your parents or someone else you trust beforehand so that they can advise you and know what you are up to.
If you want to talk to strangers, but still want to be in control over who you talk to, you can look for Kik usernames of like-minded people, or people you know from another platform and start talking with them.
While you might be interested in flirting or more on Kik, you are still allowed to have boundaries in case you feel uncomfortable. Find out beforehand what things you feel comfortable doing, like sending (clothed) photos of yourself, sending sexy texts, and flirting with the other, and stick to those. When your conversation partner asks for more, you can politely tell them you prefer to stick to the items mentioned above and thank them for their understanding. If they push, you can tell them you do not feel comfortable doing these things, and that if they continue to push, you will block them. It’s not worth it to cross your boundaries for people online.
Tell your friends
Let’s say you’ve met a really charming stranger on Kik, and you thoroughly enjoy your conversations together. However, they want you to keep silent about your interaction and tell no-one. This is very odd, if not a red flag. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to tell your friends about any particular social interactions you might have (had). Of course, you don’t need to tell them everything you’ve discussed, but when your friends know what you’re up to, they may be able to help in case things escalate.
The internet is a place of free speech, but up to a certain extent. Sometimes, people will get into arguments with others solely to annoy them. These people are called “trolls,” and there is, unfortunately, very little you can do about them except ignoring and blocking them. Trolls say controversial things to lure you out of your shell and to get you to argue with them. When you do so, they can use whatever it is that you said against you.
Interacting and arguing with people and trolls will not gain you anything except potential trouble and a bad mood, or even feelings of depression. So, when someone tries to get you to argue with them, simply let them be or block them and go about your day.
Don’t open random links
Sometimes, you’ll receive a sudden message from a stranger or an odd message from a friend containing a link. Never just click this link as it might be a virus! When it’s your friend, you can ask them a few questions about it before opening. Another safe way is to google the link name and open it through the browser. That way, any potential harm won’t affect you.