An open area online where you can chat with other people in real-time via text. Many chats are established so that people can discuss a common interest like music or movies. Because chat rooms are set up based on common interests many predators go into chat rooms where they know children will be, and try to lure them into a private conversation area.
Some chat rooms use specific programs to access and use the facility, others are built into websites, including social networking sites. Multiplayer games frequently have chat rooms for players.
Talk to your child about how people on the Internet are not always who they seem to be. Help them pick user names that will not give away any personal information such as gender, age, or geographic location. Encourage them to talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Here are some recommended rules from NetSmartz that can help you as parents keep your children safer in chat rooms:
- I will keep my identity private
- I will never respond to any online communication that makes me feel uncomfortable.
- I will never meet in person with anyone I have first “met” online without discussing it with my parents or guardian.
- I will respect other people’s rights while online.
Email IM & Chat Rooms
Email IM and Chat Room information tips and discussion from NetSmartz
Advice on Teens and Online Chat Rooms
Information on chat rooms from Focus on the Family
KidSmart on Chat
Learn smart decisions when using chat and instant message.
Chatroom safety tips by Get Safe Online.