A chat room is a virtual online room, set up according to interest or subject, such as gaming or a favorite TV show. It is one of the most popular destinations on the Web, especially for kids and teens.
However, there are hazards to chat rooms for kids. Some incidents have been reported. Kids met “friends” who were interested in exploiting them through chat rooms. These “friends” with malicious intention to kids pose as teenagers in chat rooms prod their online acquaintances to exchange personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers, which puts the kids they are chatting with, and the kids’ families at risk. Although many kids have been told by parents not to give out their home phone numbers, the cunning offenders may encourage kids to call them, and then instantly have the kids’ phone numbers by caller id.
It’s important that parents keep the Internet medium in perspective. Just like any safety issue, it’s a good idea to talk with our kids about our concerns, take advantage of resources to protect them from potential dangers, and keep a close eye on their online and offline daily activities.