Chat Room Safety Guidelines.
Avoiding Online Predators.

Chat Room Safety.

Chat Room Safety guidelines are essential to protect both adults and young children from predators and sinister characters scouring the Internet for victims.

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" 'Online Killers' serves as a collection of cautionary tales for those so trusting they put their faith in complete strangers - manipulative predators who use their victims' weaknesses to destroy them. For every person who finds "the one" through an internet connect, there are so many others finding the wrong one... the nucleus is the depressing statistics and how dark the world that surrounds us is."

Bob Etier Book Review

Who Are You Really Talking To?

Meeting the wrong person in a chat room can cost you plenty... heart ache, your money, your identity, even your life.

A prime example is the case of 47-year-old "Internet Chatroom Murderer" Thomas Montgomery. Posing as 21-year-old marine "Tommy" he developed an online relationship with 17-year-old "Jessi" (chat name Talhotblond).

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This relationship was compromised when a fellow work mate of Montgomery's, 22-year-old Brian Barret, also got involved online with "Jessi".

Jealousy drove Montomery to shoot Barret dead in the work car park.

The crazy part is, "Jessi" was actually a middle-aged woman using pictures of her daughter.

Police were astounded that the murder resulted from jealousy over a love triangle where the men involved had never met or even truly known the woman. (ref: Wikipedia)

That's why you need to take precautions with your Chat Room Safety.

Chat Room Safety Tips.

  • Create a user name that doesn't reveal your real identity.

  • Make sure your Profile doesn't disclose personal information.

  • Save copies of chat room conversations.

  • Keep an eye on what your kids are doing online.
    Be concerned if they've always got their door shut or suddenly turn off the monitor when you walk in.

  • Better still... ensure children's computers are in common areas where the monitor is easily visible. And be aware if they suddenly start to frequently e-mail or text (SMS) someone you don't know.

  • Set limits on children's Chat time... Internet addiction is real.
    Worry if they begin to spend hours online (especially late at night), or receive phone calls or unsolicited gifts from unknown sources.

  • Report inappropriate behavior (harassment, bullying, cyber-stalking, sexual advances, etc).
    Children need to immediately confide in their parents... adults to contact the relevant authorities.

  • Always be alert to the real threats and dangers out there.

  • Block anyone you think "wonky" (weird, or not quite right).

  • Think carefully before arranging to meet someone you've only met online, and then only in a public place and perhaps with a companion.
  • Don't trust strangers you've only met online.

  • Don't blindly believe anything you see online.
    These days anything and everything can be faked.
    Old paedophiles can use stolen photos and act as young children to trick victims.
    Nigerian criminals can pretend to be pretty young Western women who will message you... "153" ("I adore you"), "143" ("I love you"), "1437" ("I love you forever").
    The Scams are endless... the Scammers tireless.

  • Avoid chat rooms or forums that focus on people's personal problems or issues.

  • Don't use sexy nicknames (like "Talhotblond" mentioned above).

  • Never list your address, telephone numbers, photos, email address, etc.

  • Don't give out your personal or intimate details in a chat room. When asked for "your a/s/l" (age/sex/location) keep it vague.

  • Children and teens should not give out information about family or friends, where they live, phone numbers, where they go to school, or where they hang out.

  • Never download files from strangers.

  • Avoid "flaming" any one online (i.e. don't start heated arguments with or insult others).

Chat rooms are a great way to socialize and have fun.

But always remember these two things... not everyone out there is your "friend"... and predators and scammers are constantly trolling the Internet for victims.

Think about Chat Room Safety and make sure you don't become one of them.

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by Eugene Roberts

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