Teenagers and adults are fascinated by the speed, instant messaging option and the prospect of meeting new people on the internet, the online chat rooms provide. Even though chat rooms are a great means to start meeting people from different parts of the world, it is also important to exercise safety while chatting with anonymous people.
The most important thing you must remember is that, do not create a chat ID with your real name, initials, city or town or surname. Use any name which is not related to you. If you meet up somebody, who is genuine and trustworthy, you can reveal your real identity. But when you start interacting, try to keep it concealed. Also do not mention your location, age or address.
Restrict private chat only with people you already know. Try to keep chats with strangers distant and less personal. Once the other person gains your trust, you can think of divulging personal info. Chat rooms also have ‘report abuse’ method by which you can report if there are any threatening or inappropriate messages from anybody to the moderator. You can also flag the message.
Let your friendship be restricted to online chat rooms and do not encourage people to come and meet you. If it so happens that you have a really good relation with the other person, you can try to meet up, but only after careful thought. Let the meeting take place only on a day-time, and in a populated and well-known area, which is known to you well. Let your friends know about this. Do not invite strangers to your home and keep your phone numbers secret.
If you have teenagers at home, who are addicted to communication through online chat rooms, make them understand the good and bad sides of chatting, and make them aware.