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Chat Rooms

Chat rooms are places on the Internet where you can have live, real-time conversations with many people at the same time. Everyone in the chat room can see what everyone else writes, but you can still be as anonymous as you want. While chat rooms can be dynamic meeting places for people with similar interests, they can also be cruising grounds for predators trying to make contact with young people. MNet advises not to allow kids to enter chat rooms, just as we teach young children not to talk to strangers in the street. When they become older (10-13) they should only participate in monitored kids' chat rooms, and even then under the close supervision of an adult.

Chat rooms are monitored in several ways: some sites automatically shuts people out for using inappropriate language, while others use real live monitors. However, even in monitored chat rooms, there is nothing to stop an adult from joining in and pretending to be a child. Young teens are particularly vulnerable with regard to chat rooms. Adolescents should be encouraged to only use monitored teen chat rooms, to protect their personal information when chatting online and to always stay in the chat room's public area.

Tip: Keep your Internet-connected computer in a public area of your house - never in a child's room.

Source: MNet

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