close encounter
A man I had never seen before came up to me at the bus stop and said “Hello Peter...”
>>more
your call game
Your friend has met someone online but needs your help. Take the quiz and help her with the choices she has to make.
>>more
what happened to one family
In February 2000, a 33 year old man made contact with a 12 year old girl in a chatroom. This first contact led to emails every day over a two-month period and then to regular conversations on a mobile phone. In this way the girl was groomed to the point where she actually met the man offline and was sexually assaulted...
>>more
what is a good chatroom?
Thinking of setting up your own chatroom, or wanting to know what chatroom providers should be doing to keep their users safe?
>>more

how to keep safe in chat

  • Be careful who you trust online and remember that online friends are really strangers. People online, no matter how long you have been talking to them or how friendly they are, may not be who they say they are.
  • Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. If you feel that you ‘have to’ meet, then for your own safety you must tell your parent or carer and take them with you – at least on the first visit – and meet in a public place in daytime.
  • Stay in charge in chat. Keep your personal information secret when chatting online (name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address, picture), even if people ask for this. Although It can be tempting to reveal more than you normally would in online friendships, giving out personal information can make you vulnerable.
  • Check your profile and make sure it doesn’t include any personal information (name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address, picture).
  • Get away from an unpleasant situation in a chatroom by logging out (this just takes one click) or by changing your screen name.
  • Think before you answer private messages. It can be harder to end a conversation in a private chat than in a public chat. A private chat may end up being more personal than you like.
  • Use a nickname, not your real name, and a nickname that is not going to attract the wrong type of attention.
  • Look out for your friends and do something if you think that they are at risk.
  • Tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
  • Learn how to keep/save a copy of the conversation in chat – this may be useful if you want to report something.
    >>learn how
  • Learn how to block/ignore people.
    >>learn how
  • Check you know how to report something you feel uncomfortable about to the chatroom provider or moderator.
    >>learn how