Keeping Your Personal Information Private Interacting with People Offline Being Aware of Predators Ceasing Communication and Reporting Threats Community Q&A Chatrooms are a fun place to engage in discussion about a variety of topics.While most people who frequent online chatrooms are good people, there are some who are there to prey on or bully other people.While TV viewing has remained fairly constant, time spent surfing the Web has increased more than 120 percent over the last five years.With the burgeoning use of the Internet, many practitioners are seeing more couples because of online affairs and are addressing new issues in therapy, psychologists say.“There aren’t receipts for hotels or dinners or excursions.” With the faceless nature of the Internet, anonymity also is easy to come by.People often feel more comfortable revealing intimate details of their lives to relative strangers because the relationship exists only in cyberspace, Ducharme says. “Some people really begin to think the other person is in love with them.“The excuses are, ‘I didn’t have sex with this person.
Therapy can be more complicated if the cheating partner doesn’t believe his or her online activities qualify as an affair, Ducharme says.Fortunately, by taking steps to keep your personal information private, being cautious when it comes to interacting with people you meet online, and ending communication with people who threaten you, you’ll be better able to safeguard yourself from predators.The typical affair used to start in the office and move to a seedy motel room, but the vast reach of the Internet has brought infidelity into many couples’ homes over the past decade.“I think there is this bias that women don’t cheat for sexual reasons at all,” Hertlein says.“Women are supposed to be the nurturers and the matriarchs in our society.” Due to the secretive nature of online affairs, reliable statistics are hard to find, but a 2005 study of 1,828 Web users in Sweden offers evidence about the prevalence of cybersex and online affairs. A 2008 Australian study offers more insight into Internet affairs. More than half of the respondents believed an online relationship constituted unfaithfulness, with the numbers climbing to 71 percent for cybersex and 82 percent for in-person meetings.