Chat rooms can be a safe place to have a laugh if you just remember a few important things. All you really need to do is keep your wits about you and trust your judgement. Take a look at the key chat room safety points stated below.
• People on the Internet may not be who they say they are.
• Whatever you do, don't give out contact info, like your phone number and address.
• Be careful what you say about your friends and their personal info. They've told you as a mate, so you shouldn't pass anything on to people they don't know.
• If you're posting a profile, don't include any info which could help to identify you offline - again that means your personal email address, mobile phone number, home or school address and also pictures of yourself.
• You should never really meet up with someone you chatted to online - even if you think the person is OK. Paedophiles are just one online form of predator who are seriously clever; and they will often spend months gaining your trust before asking to meet you. If in spite of our advice above if you do meet someone in real life:
• Always tell someone where you are going, who you are meeting and when they can expect you home.
• Always meet in a public place.
• Ideally, take a friend with you. Get them to do the same and have double the fun!
• Do not invite anyone to your home or go to theirs until you feel you know them well enough.
• If you’ve got one, take your mobile phone and make sure it’s fully charged and has calling credit.
• Get someone to call you at a pre-arranged time to check everything is OK and give you an alibi if you want to escape.
The above are some key tips to remember in chat rooms. In addition remember to never reveal any pertinent information about yourself, such as exact location, full name, social security number, telephone number, etc. The most important rule when exploring chat rooms though is to never agree to meet someone outside of the chat room. By revealing any of this information you are putting yourself at risk to be stalked and possibly have your identity stolen by a hacker.
Leave a chat immediately if someone makes you uncomfortable, starts asking you too many personal questions, is sexually explicit, or starts to harass you. Ignore invitations to chat privately with people you do not know.
For more information on how to keep safe in Chat rooms, please visit the following sites: