If there is no physical contact or actual sex, is it still an affair?
“It’s not just that you’re communicating with someone online but that there is a sexual or emotional nature,” says Katherine Hertlein, Ph D, an associate professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas who studies online affairs.
Be careful who you give your number to and how you use GPS and other technologies that can pinpoint your physical location.
If you’re being harassed on Kik, the company will help you coordinate with law enforcement.
According to , in the case of a court order or emergency situation Kik can [provide] ( the authorities with a time-stamped log of a Kik user’s sent and received messages, such as in the case of Nicole.
Don’t lead them on — you don’t want to be the target of a predator’s grooming.Last week the FBI confirmed that the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell was connected to the anonymous messaging app Kik.The young victim used the platform to message her alleged killer, David Eisenhauer, an 18-year-old Virginia Tech freshman who has since been arrested and charged with her abduction and death. It’s created a community of over 200 million users, but not everyone is just chatting with people they know personally.If you use Kik, follow these tips from Safe Teens to protect yourself:● Think about what you post.Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on.Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends.● Read between the “lines.” It may be fun to check out new people for friendship or romance, but be aware that, while some people are nice, others are simply acting nice because they’re trying to get something.Flattering or supportive messages may be more about manipulation than friendship or romance.● Don’t talk about sex with strangers.Women usually feel more threatened by the emotional betrayal of a partner’s online affair, while men are more concerned about physical encounters, Hertlein says, but the gender differences are lessening.“That is starting to even out in part because of the equality of opportunity that the Internet brings to everybody,” she 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.Almost a third of the participants reported cybersexual experiences, and people in committed relationships were just as likely to engage in cybersex as those who were single. While men’s interest in cybersex decreased with age, women’s interest increased slightly, with 37 percent of women age 35 to 49 reporting cybersexual experiences compared with only a quarter of men in the same age group (, Vol. It found that of 183 adults who were currently or recently in a relationship, more than 10 percent had formed intimate online relationships, 8 percent had experienced cybersex and 6 percent had met their Internet partners in person (, Vol. Kimberly Young, Ph D, who directs the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., says about half of the couples in her practice are seeking counseling because of online affairs or excessive use of online pornography.