Chat rooms and IM
Chat rooms or chat areas on websites are a great way to stay in touch and meet people. However, there are some bad things that you should be aware of.
The ASL files
It's very easy for people to lie about who they are
Even if you’ve been chatting to the same person for ages and you feel like you know them, remember it’s very easy to lie on the internet and there is no way of knowing if someone is telling the truth. Even if someone shows you a photo of themselves, this could be a picture of someone else or could be faked. This applies to webcam or video footage too; seeing a person in a video, does not mean it’s them.
Sharing personal information
Be careful not to share too much information with other people in chat rooms. You don’t know who could be listening in or what they might do with that information. If you wouldn’t be comfortable yelling it out in a crowded room, its best not to write it in a chat room.
There are some adults who will try to get in touch with young people and children because they have bad intentions. Bear this in mind whilst you use chat areas. If anything makes you suspicious tell an adult you trust or report any serious concerns to us using ClickCEOP.
Make sure you know how to block Instant Messaging contacts. They will not be told you have blocked them; you will just appear offline in their contacts list, so they cannot message you. Don’t forget you can always delete a contact if you don’t wish to talk to them anymore.
On Windows Live Messenger you can block a user by right clicking on their icon in your contacts list and choosing ‘block’
It’s also a good idea to learn how to save conversations. This way, if anything weird or dodgy happens, you have evidence of it and you can show it to an adult you trust or copy and paste it into our reporting form.
If you think someone has hacked into your account – report it to the people who run the site.
Look out for this icon on other websites. This means that you can report abuse directly to CEOP from those sites. For example, MSN Live Messenger has a tab with this icon