Internet Chat Tips: Online Safety

Following my interview with SmellyCat on chatting, I have identified the following main points about internet chat:

Safety tips From SmellyCat:
The problem is that a lot of people invite problems by not practicing safe chat. You see, young people make friends really easily and they can’t help but trust (to some extend) these friends. What they don’t understand is that not everyone you chat to is honest.

  1. Never use or reveal your real name in a chat room. Use a nick name- and not one that reveals your gender (unless you want to) or attracts bad attention e.g sexy beast.
  2. Be careful who you trust. The person you are talking to may just as well be 20 years older than he says he is.
  3. Think before you reveal anything personal or answer private questions.
  4. Get away from unpleasant situations by blocking the offending user, logging out or even logging in using a different handle.
  5. Meeting people (in real life) that you first met in a chat room can be dangerous. Always tell an adult about such meetings.
  6. Adults should talk frequently to young people about their chat experience and recommend safe chat rooms to them. (An example of a regulated chat room is gridclub).
  7. If all else fails, adults may also block block chatting using special software – you may also ask your ISP for help on this.(Though there are ways around this!)

Internet chat is really very nice, try it at talkcity, through YahooIM/MSN, or-for the ‘ultimate’ good-old expereience-try IRC. I personally vouch for talkcity – I have met many long-term freinds there.

Here is a list of acronyms that make up a lot of the language used in internet chat….just so you don’t get lost…

PS: Don’t forget your netiquette!!

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