Teaching your child to use Chat Rooms safely

Chat rooms are places on the Internet where users can have anonymous conversations. Your child may be interested in participating in a chat focused on their favorite game, sport, or activity. Chat rooms are popular meeting places for children and teenagers, which makes them a prime target for sexual predators. Predators often pose as fellow teenagers and attempt to lure teens into private chat rooms, where they bring up sexual topics. As a parent, it’s important to keep tabs on which chat rooms your children frequent. this article will introduce a few guidelines for safe chat room usage.

Teach your children not to give out personal information: Be sure your children know not to give up their name, birthdate, passwords, school, or any other personally identifying information on the Internet. Doing so is a sure way to lead a predator to your child, so be sure they know the risk involved, as well as the consequence if this rule is broken.

Teach your children to never meet anyone in person that they’ve met on the Internet: it’s important that your children realize that the people that they’re talking to online may not be who they appear to be. Make it a house rule that your child never meet anyone in person without you going along. Teach them to never agree to a real-life meeting, and to always tell you if anyone asks them to meet them in person.

Teach your children to pick out nondescript screen names: be sure children know not to pick out screen names that include their name, birthday, hometown, school, or other identifying information. Instead, help them to choose a screen name that is anonymous, but identifies their personality. For example, catlover0089 is ok, while suzyreynolds89 is not.

Teach your children to avoid meeting others in private chat rooms: This is generally a ploy to lure your child away from the main, public chat room, and may indicate an unsavory character. Ask that your child tell you if anyone attempts to get them into a private chat room – these users may need more careful monitoring.

Chat rooms can be useful for your child to discuss hobbies or homework, or to do research on a topic. However, they must be used with care due to to their abuse by predators. Before you let your child use any chat room, it may be a good idea to monitor it for yourself for a short time. Be sure that your child knows the above chat room rules, and also remind them to tell you if anyone or anything that is said makes them uncomfortable. Internet safety depends on strong communication between you and your child, so be sure to build this connection.

Have a great day!

Lawrence