Chat Rooms Are Dangerous Essay

UK Chat Rooms

There is an increasing number of children in danger of being targeted by paedophiles through internet chat rooms. The police, non-government intelligence agencies and internet watchdogs are receiving more and more reports about adults attempting to groom children in this way. It is a major growing concern for parents with young children. Sexual predators, cyber bullies, online scams and obscene websites all lurk on the internet chat rooms.
Safer Internet Day - Tuesday 6th February 2018.

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When Children are communicating with strangers, whom they believe to be the same age as themselves, very often find that the other person may suddenly change their behaviour by expressing lewd and inappropriate language.

A worse situation may arise when children are asked to make arrangements to meet the other contact outside somewhere.

Online Chat Rooms

Some teenagers have been so naive to the dangers that they had already posted photographs of themselves to strangers. Another fear parents are expressing is when a child might divulge personal information under the illusion that they are communicating with a friend. Children know to run away from a suspicious stranger who approaches them in the street or park, but they believe they are invincible on the internet. Some children may have no fear of online dangers or concerns about chat safety.

As children become more knowledgeable and skilled with computers parents are increasingly concerned that they are not keeping up with the technology and inadequate at policing the situation. Many children will happily give away a great deal of personal information about themselves or others on online chat rooms. Parents should be aware of this threat and prevent it by warning their children about the dangers. The fear of unknown hazards is an increasing worry.

Chat Room Safety

Parents should advise their children and explain the dangers by following these recommendations:

  • Never allow a child to send a picture of themselves unless they know the person.
  • Webcams should never be allowed to be used by children on their own.
  • Tell you children never to give out personal information about themselves, where they live, the school they go to, etc, unless they know the person.
  • Never, under any circumstances, arrange to meet anyone met through contact on the computer. No-one can guarantee who they will meet in this way.
  • Inform your children to let you know what they are doing and the contacts they make on the internet.
  • Children should be using computers in the open where parents can observe and monitor.

Parent's software to safeguard children on the net.

The main answer to chat room safety is to provide software that monitors the activity.

One method is to use software that prevents children using the web at certain times. You will also want certain personal information safeguarded. You would not want your child's name and address and other personal information posted onto the internet. “IamBigBrother” and “Net Nanny” are two software choices available.

Although some software can be a useful tool some children may be able to disable it, so parents need to police the situation as well. Remember that cookies can be seen on the "Temporary internet files" to identify where a child has been visiting a site. Insist that your child does not interfere with these files and deletes them so that their activity can be monitored.

Although the acronym FOMO is relatively new, many teens and children are using the term which stands for fear of missing out. FOMO is when someone experiences anxiety that an exciting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often prompted by posts seen on social media. Please see the video at left.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

A new project, called the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), has been recently introduced to fight against child sex abuse in general and internet child porn. This has been instigated with the help of the police, computer industry experts and specialists from children's charities. For further information visit the website at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7 for children and www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents for parents.

CEOP Cyber Cafe

The CEOP has also Think You Know CYBER CAFÉ, a website enabling 8-11 year-olds to learn about internet safety through a cybercafe.

Childline  www.childline.org.uk

Also good advice from Northern Cell

For great family esafety advice why not follow @NorthernCell1 on Twitter, or go to their website

Internet safety book for children

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Information videos supplied by
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What are the risks of using the internet?

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Josh Ochs of Safe Smart Social

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