Before I begin, there are a few things that I want to get out of the way:
- I am just a user of WaniKani. I am not staff, nor am I a moderator or admin.
- I am not an expert in Internet Safety. I am just a guy who spends too much time at his computer. If you have any contributions or corrections, you can send them to me here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C5FP3QY
I will sanitize as much personal information as I can before inclusion, but please, use caution, and try not to send me anything personal or identifying. Also, please don’t abuse my trust and send me your Koichi/Viet slash fic.
- Everything here applies to me as well. I AM A STRANGER ON THE INTERNET, AND NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
Now, the WaniKani community is generally a pretty good, safe space for people. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a good amount of caution. Put simply, people can lie about who they are, and their intentions, and there is no way to figure out the truth online. It’s also important to realize that there are more lurkers (people who read, but don’t post) than posters in any community, and they have just as much access to what you post.
Avoid posting any personal information. Things you absolutely should not post are things like your full name (or anything particularly distinctive), and your address. Remember, every piece of personal information you make public makes it easier for someone to track down who you are. If you go to school, things like where, or what the Sportsball team name is can narrow down your identity. Long story short; if you wouldn’t give it to the creepy guy who hangs around the adult video store, don’t give it to us.
Do not share login credentials with anyone. Not only can they pretend to be you, your User settings contain lots of personal information that you don’t want getting out. Anybody other than you that should have access to it, already does. Anybody claiming otherwise is lying, and should be reported immediately.
Assume anything you post is visible to everybody, everywhere, forever. Most of the WaniKani forums are open to search engines, and they like to cache everything they see. It’s also very easy for someone to simply take a screenshot, or copy the text.
Be very careful about meeting people offline. If you are going to do something like this, do it in a group of at least three people, keep to public areas, and have someone you trust aware of where you are, and who you’re with. It’s also a very good idea to have someone you trust look over your chat logs with you; nobody’s perfect, and it’s very possible you could miss a red flag (you may want to do this even if you don’t plan on meeting). If you are a minor, do not do this, PERIOD, especially without your parent/guardian’s permission and involvement.
If something or someone makes you uncomfortable, tell somebody! The forum admins and staff are here to keep you safe and happy. If something seems off, let them know, and they’ll deal with it. Remember, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. If someone does figure out your identity, tell your parents/guardians, a friend, a teacher or guidance counsellor, even a religious leader. If you’re afraid for your safety, go to the police.
Keep records of any private interactions. Should the worst happen, it’s important to have an established timeline of events.
Again, if I’ve missed anything, or you have anything you want to contribute, like tips, or personal (but sanitized) experiences, feel free to reply, but please, keep it a judgment free zone. My intention is to educate, and keep people safe, not shame. If you want to contribute anonymously, there’s the SurveyMonkey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C5FP3QY