smart rules smart

R: RELIABLE... why?

You can be whoever you want to be when you sign on in chat, or in an online game, and choosing a nickname and pretending to be someone else can be part of the fun. However, just as you might be fooling others, others might be fooling you. So it is always best to stay on the side of caution and if you feel uncomfortable with the way a conversation is going you have several options:

  • Stop and leave the conversation – it normally takes just one click to leave a chatroom for example.
  • Block the person who is making you uncomfortable so they can no longer contact you >>learn how
  • If it is really serious, then you can report them to the Chat or IM provider or moderator >>learn how
  • If none of these works, as a last resort you can change your contact details, i.e. your username/email address or mobile number so this person cannot contact you anymore.

If someone is pestering you to meet up or hassling you it may be that they aren't the nice person they say they are and may be lying about their age, interests, and even their sex. Be particularly suspicious if the person you are communicating changes their age, and explains that actually they are ‘not 15 but 26’ for example in the course of your chats.

  • BBC News article - 'Man jailed for sex emails to girl', a story of a 42 year old man posing as a young girl online