Hi. An update:
When I wrote the caution above, there wasn't a "chat" feature on this message board. Just wanted to remind folks that all of the above applies to the chat feature as well, and by extension to other media such as Skype, etc. Predators troll electronic media, just like they troll the streets, looking for people who are very naive, or who are loners, or who for whatever reason are otherwise lax about exercising common sense
Now, I'm not saying don't trust everybody you meet, but don't trust everybody you meet.
don't know who
is on the other end of the line, and what they're intentions are. Whenever you begin communicating with them on a regular basis via social media, realize that in every conversation you're giving out a little more personal information each time, and that person on the other end is taking notes.
And like I said before, just kind of tell your family or friends about these encounters. You don't have to tell them all your business, but do keep them informed, so they can keep an eye out for you. If they sense a red flag, LISTEN TO THEM. That's why they're there. And if you do want to meet someone personally, let your peeps know the where and when of your intentions.
In the wild, lone animals that have strayed too far from the herd are always the first to be eaten by the predator; don't put yourself in that position. Have fun, but be safe. Don't be a loner. Always let the people who love you know what's
going on in your life, and understand that social media allows
strangers to find out a lot of information about you, which can
be used against you.