Children and teens are drawn to chat rooms. The problem is, sexual predators also are. Parents must wake up to the fact of how dangerous chat rooms can be. The fact that participants identities are unknown, the content unfiltered and the ability to unlimited access by virtually anyone, Make this a combination for disaster.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 40 % of children ages 15 to 17 who are abducted are victims in connection with Internet activity. The way that kids use chat rooms open them up to all kinds of predators.
Polling of teens reveals that more than half who enter chat rooms – give out personal information to complete strangers., including their phone numbers, home addresses, where they go to school or their schedules.
The fact is the majority of kids who fall victim to chat rooms will not be abducted. To the contrary though the stranger lurking around the playground that you warn your child about , may be the person they are chatting with online.
Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough (EIE), a nonprofit organization that teaches families how to be safe online, says: “We recommend that parents seriously consider disallowing chat rooms because they are very difficult to monitor. And even in the monitored ones there are no guarantees because you can’t detect a disguised predator.”
Mrs. Hughes is right. We as parents must monitor and enforce rules on Internet usage. We must also install a secure Internet filter that will help us in protecting our family.
Basic tips for parents to discuss with their children.
• “Don’t talk to strangers” applies online, too.
• Explain that predators often disguise themselves as children online, and that they should never, have a personal discussions with anyone.
• Talk to you right away if they feel uncomfortable or threatened.
• Never give out personal information to anyone.
• monitor and limit the amount of time on the Internet.
The Internet is a wonderful place that can greatly benefit your children. The Internet is also a place of Danger, deceit and deception. As a parent keep your eyes open and be diligent in the effort of protecting your children.