When children are in a chat area they are in a very public "place". They do not necessarily know the true identity of anyone they are talking to in the chat room.
Those who would wish to harm children can prey on those in chat rooms who appear to be left out or lonely. They can pretend to be supportive and sympathetic in order to gain the trust of the young person by being willing to "listen" to their problems and provide friendship.
This question of anonymity has raised major security issues with chat rooms. There is no way to really believe or trust a person you have never …show more content…
Many people use chat rooms as a way to meet members of the opposite sex and flirt. It can be difficult to stay away from these people in chat rooms. It is generally safer to find a chat room with a purpose or topic. Chat rooms with the word "chat" in their titles, like "teenchat," "chatmongers," or "nicechat," usually involve quite a bit of flirting or sexual talk.
Another signal that this type of chatting is going on is when you see people asking "m/f?" in a chat-they are asking you what gender you are. Once you admit to people in these types of chat rooms that you are female, you may start receiving private messages that are sexually explicit or harassing. Chats with a purpose, such as chats about hobbies or computer games, are going to be a lot less harassing than a chat without a topic.
Never say anything in a chat room that you would not say in public. Never give out personal information, like your name, home address, school address, where you'll be that afternoon, your telephone number, your personal email address (give them a public address), or any other information that could help someone figure out your actual identity (or anyone else's). See our article on Chat Room Security.
Leave a chat immediately if someone makes you uncomfortable, starts asking you too many personal questions, is sexually explicit, or