Are chat rooms a threat to your children? (2023)

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Are chat rooms a threat to your children?

My answer would be: yes, with qualifications.

I started the Internetconversation roomssince 1998, at Nothing fancy. The software was freely available. I just had to make a few major changes: adding bad word filters and automated kicking (launching from rooms).

You meanFreeThe conversation is fine until you read what anonymous, malicious youths are saying to fifteen-year-old girls. It's not Shakespeare, let me tell you.

This is another key point: anonymity. His columnFreespeech argument. Let the freedom fighters and oppressed masses speak! Except he's more likely to be a twenty-five-year-old sociopath who pretends to be sixteen and makes young girls cry with his disgusting simplicity.

Free from all distraction and safe from physical punishment, we see the contents of the subconscious pouring out without restriction. And that's one hell of a mental sewage stream.

This can be solved with bad word filters and human moderators. The most important shield of all, I think, is education. "Don't take candy from strangers," "You don't need medicine until you're sick," and now: "Don't hang out with trolls" (people who purposely harass other Internet users with offensive language).

Mostconversation roomsnow has an 'ignore' mode. He's a bit like a street bully: *looks* for a reaction. if you ignore it, it's annoying. For him. You glide, figuratively speaking, while he wanders in silence.

Parents should take care of their ownchildren isworks online. See if you can find out what service they subscribed to and log in. Try it. Teenagers define themselves as future adults by choosing a different path than their parents: if youisconservatives, will try liberalism, and

vice versa.

Therefore, you should not try to participate in their activities as equals. just stay informed.

They may complain, but secretly they're glad you're interested. A parent who lets his child do whatever he wants gives him no standard to measure himself against.

Another problem with the basic oneconversation roomsis that you can develop an intense relationship with someone you can't see and haven't met in the flesh. there is an element of fantasy. Your thoughts flow freely, you think you have met your soulmate. You can even meet them and the illusion continues…

... until you finally realize that he or she is only human after all and breaks air like everyone else.

However, there is hope. With the advent of cheap digital video cameras, Internet telephony, and broadband Internet, people will be less able to hide, "What do you mean, you're shy? You weren't shy a minute ago!". Old-fashioned, rational prejudices will prevail: "Yes, 'Zorro' from Cambridge is so cool, spotted by Darren from!" Eap from digital video cameras, Internet telephony and broadband Internet, people will be able to hide less: "What do you mean you're shy? You weren't shy a minute ago!". Old-fashioned, rational prejudices will prevail: "Yes, 'Zorro' from Cambridge is so cool, spotted by Darren from!"

About the Author:
T. O'Donnell an e-commerce consultant in London, UK. His latest project is a free loan calculator, available at

Copyright T. O'Donnell -

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What are the dangers of chat rooms for kids? ›

They can even use personal information to find where your kid lives or hack their account to find out their IP address. Even if they don't intend to meet up with your kid physically, they can still be a very real danger. Part of what a predator will do is invite kids to private message, isolating their conversation.

Why children should stay away from chat rooms on the Internet? ›

Online predators

Some predators will simply scan online chat forums gathering data that could be used in online or offline attacks. For example, they might learn about what school a child goes to, who their friends are, their interests, where they might be at a given time, and what they look like.

What dangers can using a chat room bring? ›

Cyberbullying And Trolling

Unfortunately, one of the most common dangers of the internet and private chat rooms is also one of the most difficult to avoid. The ability to comment publicly on almost any form of media opens many of us up to cyberbullying and trolling.

What dangers can children be exposed to online? ›

The dangers
  • cyberbullying (bullying using digital technology)
  • invasion of privacy.
  • identity theft.
  • your child seeing offensive images and messages.
  • the presence of strangers who may be there to 'groom' other members.

What should you avoid in a chat room? ›

Chat rooms are sometimes organized around topics, so avoid topics that makes you feel uncomfortable. Do not respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable or frightened. Do not arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you meet in a chat room without informing a parent or other adult first.

How do you stay safe in a chat room? ›

Staying Safe in Chatrooms

To stay safe, make sure that when you're using a chat room or posting on a message board, you never give out any personal information like your address or your phone number. You should always use a nickname, so no-one can look you up in a telephone directory and get your home phone number.

What kids should not do online? ›

8 things your kids shouldn't do online
  • Eight things your kids shouldn't do online.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Share personal information.
  • Play without time limits.
  • Having a profile in Social Networks.
  • Download inappropriate apps.
  • Enter websites with inappropriate content for children.
  • Believe they've won something.
May 12, 2015

Why parents should pause before oversharing online? ›

Kasina shares how no matter what privacy protections you have on your accounts, sharenting creates digital footprint for children. Sharenting, she says, ushers children into digital life, whether they want it or not. This decision can lead to long-term psychological and mental health burdens for children.

Why parents should not control their children's access to the Internet? ›

In fact, it can lead to a host of unwanted consequences, like building mutual distrust between you and your children. It can backfire and encourage them to try even harder to hide risky behavior because they know you're looking for it. Yet, surveys say it's quite common for parents to digitally snoop on their kids.

What is the safest online chat room? ›

Users consider Supportiv to be one of the safest online chat rooms, because it's anonymous and always non-judgmental.

Why do people go on chat rooms? ›

A chat room is an online platform that enables users to communicate with each other in real time. Chat rooms are typically hosted on a server with an internet connection, enabling members from around the world to hold conversations about various topics.

At what age should you give your child privacy? ›

By age six, most kids understand the concept of privacy, and may start asking for modesty at home. Here's what you can do to honour your child's privacy. Be supportive A child's demand for privacy signals their increasing independence, says Sandy Riley, a child and adolescent therapist in Toronto.

Why is social media bad for kids? ›

However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure. The risks might be related to how much social media teens use.

Are chat rooms considered social media? ›

When we think of social media, we tend to list off the most popular sites of the moment. However, social media has been around in some form since the beginning of the Internet. Over the years, social media has taken the form of chat rooms, networking sites, and microblogging.

Are anonymous chat rooms safe? ›

Anonymity Does Not Equal Safety

You should be regularly and actively practicing safe online chatting habits. Using an anonymous name doesn't necessarily safeguard your identity. Spammers and hackers are lurking everywhere in cyberspace.

What are the chat room house rules? ›

Under the Chatham House Rule, anyone who comes to a meeting is free to use information from the discussion, but is not allowed to reveal who made any particular comment. It is designed to increase openness of discussion.

Does anyone still use chat rooms? ›

They still sorta exist but its pretty much in the form of applications and games now. Any multiplayer online game is essentially a chat room. Matchmaking lobbies have always been chat rooms. VR apps like Big Screen, Altspace, Sansar, VRChat, Facebook Spaces are all virtual chat rooms.

What are some inappropriate online behavior? ›

What are some examples of inappropriate and appropriate online behavior?
  • Posting mean or threatening texts/messages.
  • Causing embarrassment to others by posting pictures, creating a website, or revealing personal information.
  • Pretending to be someone by using their name.

What are five things you should not share online? ›

Sharing sensitive information such as your address, phone number, family members' names, car information, passwords, work history, credit status, social security numbers, birth date, school names, passport information, driver's license numbers, insurance policy numbers, loan numbers, credit/ debit card numbers, PIN ...

What age is a child considered? ›

Children (1 year through 12 years) Adolescents (13 years through 17 years. They may also be referred to as teenagers depending on the context.) Adults (18 years or older)

What are 3 dangers of oversharing online? ›

Being careless with your privacy can open you and your family up to everything, from cyberbullying and theft to extortion and kidnap. Criminals can use social media geo-tagging, landmarks and research into your typical behaviour or schedule.

What is parentification trauma? ›

Parentification is a form of invisible childhood trauma. Parentification occurs when the roles between a child and a parent are reversed. You know you were parentified if as a child you have to step up as the caretaker, mediator, or protector of the family.

What age should parents stop screen time? ›

Therefore, it's all about finding the right balance. Experts recommend limiting screen time for children between the ages of two and five years old to one hour daily. That limit goes up for older kids. The key is consistency and finding what works best for your family.

Why you shouldn't check your child's phone? ›

Going through the kid's phone might make the kid not trust their parents as much because the parent is not completely trusting their kid. It could make the kid feel like they don't have control over what they text, for example, on their phone.

Do children have the right to privacy on the internet? ›

COPPA requires websites and online services to obtain consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13. Under the law, parents have the right to review their child's information, delete it and refuse to permit further collection. Check out the FTC's website for parents.

Why you shouldn't monitor your child's phone? ›

The main reasons for not monitoring your teens social media activities are privacy and trust. Kids don't want their parents looking through personal information, texts, and social media posts. Many kids consider their smartphones sacred property not to be viewed by their parents.

Do chat rooms still exist 2023? ›

There are lots of chat rooms still available in 2023 and consider me, a few of these are extremely addictive. With greater than 7,800,000 members registered with the website, Cupid is a heaven for people who discover themselves not in search of something serious.

What is the most common chat room? ›

Omegle is one of the most popular online private chat rooms in recent years, allowing users to converse via texts, video chat, and more.

What is the difference between chat rooms and instant messaging? ›

Unlike chatrooms with many users engaging in multiple and overlapping conversations, IM sessions usually take place between two users in a private, back-and-forth style of communication.

What is a secret chat room? ›

Secret Chat uses end-to-end encryption which offers greater levels of privacy and bolsters security of user information. All messages are encrypted with a key held only by the participants of the chat so no third parties can access secret chat content without accessing the device itself.

What were old chat rooms called? ›

The first public online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R. Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois.

Do parents have to respect their child's privacy? ›

Parents must respect the evolving privacy rules of their children despite their curiosity or concerns, Petronio says, or they risk losing their child's trust for good. “Parents must acknowledge their children's rights to have these rules whether they like them or not,” she says.

Do children need privacy from parents? ›

Privacy and trust go hand-in-hand with keeping your teen safe while developing their autonomy. Too little monitoring can leave teens without the help and support they need to make safe decisions about their life and their relationships.

Do parents need to respect their child's privacy? ›

Giving your child time and privacy to think and explore is an important part of supporting their growing independence. That's because part of growing up is learning to handle new ideas, emotions and interests with independence and responsibility.

What are 3 reasons kids should not have social media? ›

Dangers of social media

Cyberbullying. Online predators. Sharing too much information. False marketing.

Should parents limit the use of social media? ›

Limiting chat functions, especially among strangers, and limiting exposure to adult content is also recommended. Particularly for younger teens, parents may consider allowing social media use only when children are at home so that parents can keep a closer eye on their online activities.

Is social media ruining kids? ›

Social media affects behavior negatively by depriving kids of important social cues they would usually learn through in-person communication. This can cause them to be more callous, anxious, and insecure.

What do I do if my child sees something inappropriate online? ›

My child has seen something inappropriate – what do I do?
  1. Stay calm. ...
  2. Think about how your child is feeling. ...
  3. Find the right moment to talk and listen to what they say. ...
  4. Agree together what actions to take.

How do I talk to my child about inappropriate websites? ›

How to Talk to Kids about Inappropriate Content
  1. Starting a Conversation About Online Content. ...
  2. Always Be Calm and Reassuring. ...
  3. Spend Some Time on the Internet Together. ...
  4. Talk About Positive Ways to Use Tech. ...
  5. Discuss Staying Safe on Social Networks. ...
  6. Staying Safe Online.

Why should you be cautious when chatting online? ›

If we're not sure about who we're really talking to online, we could end up giving our information to someone who could use it against us. The following are reasons to be cautious when engaging with strangers online: Identity theft. Catfishing.

Why you should protect your child's online privacy? ›

It is important to protect privacy on the internet for kids because their personal information and data can be used for harmful purposes, such as identity theft, cyberbullying, and inappropriate content.

Should children have privacy on the internet? ›

Giving your child time and privacy to think and explore is an important part of supporting their growing independence. That's because part of growing up is learning to handle new ideas, emotions and interests with independence and responsibility.

Is it safe for children to use internet unsupervised? ›

Unsupervised screen time can lead to children viewing inappropriate content online, entering into unsafe situations, and even using social media to engage in or become victims of cyberbullying.

What to do if your child is talking to a stranger online? ›

What can parents do?
  1. Regularly ask them about what's happening online, and what they would do if something didn't feel right. ...
  2. Encourage your teens to choose the highest privacy settings, and avoid contact with people they haven't met in person.
  3. Remind them to protect their private information – eg.
Mar 23, 2021

What are some of the risks of talking with people online that you don t know face to face? ›

Chatting online with strangers may put you at risk of exposure to misinformation, which can lead to radicalization and poor mental and physical health outcomes. Examine profile photos, friend lists, and their public content to help you determine whether an account is legitimate before chatting.

What is the children's right to privacy from parents? ›

1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

How can I keep myself safe online for kids? ›

Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.

Should children have virtual privacy from their parents? ›

It can be thought of as a part of growing and becoming independent. To have a healthy bonding with the children, parents should respect and trust their private life. Privacy should not be thought of as hiding something from the parents; rather, it is a behavioral change one has as one grows up.

Why parents shouldn't take away phones at night? ›

Yes, unless you are absolutely sure your teenager is able to put the phone away (and not pick it up) at bedtime. That's because screens and sleep do not mix. The light emitted by the typical screen inhibits the production of melatonin in our brains. Melatonin is the chemical that allows us to fall and stay asleep.

Should parents look through their child's texts? ›

It takes a parent with ironclad boundaries not to sneak a peek at what's happening on their kid's phone. But a full-on investigation without your kid's knowledge and consent probably won't end well. Spot checks, conversations, and transparency should be sufficient to keep tabs on your kid while preserving your bond.

Do parents have the right to look through your phone? ›

“Does your child's perceived right to privacy supersede their safety? It's 100 percent your right to check their devices,” said Bill Wiltse, President of Child Rescue Coalition. Child predators want to invade children's lives, an abuse that they may never recover from.

Does Internet affect children's behavior? ›

Also, children who overuse media are less apt to be active with healthy, physical play. Delays in learning & social skills. When infants or preschoolers watch too much TV, they may show delays in attention, thinking, language and social skills.

What age should a child have access to the internet? ›

10 to about 12:

If children aren't already doing so, this is a time when they should start using the Internet to help with schoolwork and, perhaps, discover resources for their hobbies, sports activities, and other interests.

Why is my child searching up inappropriate things? ›

"Sometimes the assumption is that looking up content like this is a sign of abuse, but it could indicate many things. For some, it eases stress; for some, they want to be like other kids," Dr. Santos says.


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