what advice would you give?
How would you help someone that you knew was being bullied all the time, even on IM?
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getting too close
I thought my friend’s buddy was my buddy. I was introduced to a friend of a friend of mine on IM and I added this guy to my contacts list. After being in contact for a couple of months on IM, he started hassling me...
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a true story
The program enabled him to see when she was online and control her computer... he typed threatening messages and obscene words making it appear that SHE was typing them in the chatroom and then made her CD drawer start flipping in and out...
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look after your m8s
I am a 12 year old boy and I have been using IM to chat with my school friends. One of my friends gave out my chat name and location to one of her contacts...
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how to keep safe with IM

Make sure you know how to keep safe on IM

  • Do you know everyone on your buddy or contacts list? Think carefully about who is on your list. People on IM, like in chat, may not be who they say they are, so a friend of a friend is not necessarily a friend.
  • Keep your personal information secret when talking to someone you don’t know in the real world. Also think about what visible information you have, for example in your Profile or Member directory.
  • Learn how to keep an archive/save a copy of your conversation, and don’t be afraid to tell someone you are saving their conversation...
    >>learn how
  • Learn how to block/ignore people...
    >>learn how
  • Check you know how to report something you feel uncomfortable about to the Messenger provider...
    >>learn how
  • Use a nickname, not your real name, and a nickname that is not going to attract the wrong type of attention.
  • Keep your username and password private, and change your password on a regular basis
  • Don’t reply to abusive messages. Don’t send abusive messages either. It’s best not to say anything on IM that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  • Don’t accept messages from people you don’t know.
  • 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.
  • Don’t pass the buck - if someone you have accepted on your buddy or contacts list is acting weird, don’t pass them on to a friend. You could be putting your friend at risk. Just block them and report them to an adult.