In addition to using Chat some of you will be starting to use Instant Messaging (IM) which uses technology which is similar to that of chat rooms in that you can converse by exchanging text messages in real time over the Internet. Although IM allows you to detect when other users (or "buddies") are online and available to send and receive messages there are still dangers in that others can give away your profiles. IM is not confined to a website, indeed increasingly IM will become available on hand held devices such Palm and Windows CE devices, instant messaging services, pagers and cell phones.
Another area where you might be chatting online is in interactive games that are set up by groups or individuals and accessed from web sites. There are many different types of games ranging from chess or tetris to more fantasy and imagination based games that require greater interaction and dialogue. Because the software allows people who donít know each other to connect, the same advice about being careful and not giving out personal information etc. applies.