Chat rooms are popular places for a reason. It is a lot of fun to chat with friends and to stay in contact with people that you would not otherwise be able to communicate with. Chat rooms are great places to connect with other people who have the same interests as you. Some even find love through chat rooms and end up getting married to people that they met in a chat room.
However, as with anything in this world, there are safety rules for chat rooms that must be followed if everyone is to continue to have a good time. Most of the rules for safe fun in a chat room are fundamental rules or precautions that we are taught concerning strangers and other rules that all of us have grown up knowing. The challenge that some people have is applying these principles and, in some cases, common sense to their activities on the Internet. Below are just a few basic examples of some safety rules that you must follow. It would be a great error to dismiss these rules because of their simplicity and obvious nature. Remember that predators are out there and that you must build up a defense if you are to protect yourself.
Rules for safe fun in a chat room
1.Protect your identity — When you are in a chat room, anonymity is your greatest form of protection. If a predator has no way of identifying you, then you are well on your way to protecting yourself from possible identity theft or, even worse, a physical threat. Protecting your identity means never using your full name, giving out your address, workplace, school or phone number, etc. It is a good idea to disguise your identity by using a screen name that is non gender specific and has no real part of your name included at all. When asked personal questions ignore them. If you are continually put in an uncomfortable situation where you are asked to disclose information you do not feel comfortable disclosing, it is best to cut off communication with that individual all together.
2.Never go anywhere with a stranger — You should never arrange to meet with someone that you only know through a chat room. To do so could put you in a very dangerous position.
3.Use a moderator and filtering for protection — Chat room moderators have the job of monitoring the conversations that take place in certain chat rooms. Any inappropriate content should be caught and filtered out, and any complaints about specific chat members should be addressed with the moderator. It is especially important that you make sure that your children only visit chat rooms with moderators and filters that are designed specifically for the protection of children.
4.Avoid cyber bullying — The anonymity that a chat room provides sometimes brings out the worst in some people. Some individuals (both children and adults) use chat rooms to send hurtful messages or to start or contribute to rumors about others. Cyber bullying is so much more hurtful than traditional bullying as the information can travel over the Internet to virtually a global audience. Remember this rule for safe fun in a chat room: if you would not say what you are writing to the other person’s face or in the presence of your parents, it is better left unsaid. Make sure that everyone has fun in chat rooms by being kind.
5.Be aware — Log out of a chat room and contact the chat room administrator or moderator with any concerns that you have. It is always better to err on the side of being cautious when it comes to chat room safety. Listen to your intuition and better judgment and get out of a bad situation as soon as possible.