Getting into trouble is something which you think will only happen to little kids -WRONG. It can happen to you and your friends off line as well as online !

When we wrote this website, Childnet purposely didn't ask the Smith's daughter to tell her story, she has been through enough not to have to recount the details of how she met a stranger in a chat room who seemed a nice guy, but who subsequently went on to victimise and assault her. However, you can guess what happened - it was hell. She thought she was safe in her own home, she was wrong.

As you use the Internet and Chat rooms in particular, always be on your guard. If you do get into trouble Tell someone, - a friend, a schoolmate, your parents, or ring Childline directly on freephone 0800 1111.

It may seem like fun to talk to someone you don't know but be careful if they start flattering you and trying to get very close to you. It may seem OK at first, but don't get trapped ! Remember that strangers in Internet Chat Rooms can be good or bad, but they are still strangers and you should always remember the STRANGER=DANGER rule. Sometimes a grown-up might pretend to be a kid.

Remember that if someone says something to you in a chat room which is rude or threatening, it is not your fault. If it happens complain to the Chat room host (if there is one) or to the company/website which provides the Chat room. YOU are in control - an escape route is never more than a mouse-click away.

If someone asks you something you have a right to say NO

CHILDNET advises extreme caution if you are going to use CHAT and to follow the CHATDANGER TIPS.

back chatBack Chat - an interactive game. It's worth remebering people online aren't always who they say they are... put 2 mystery people on the spot and ask them 4 questions each. Then, once you've heard all the contestants answers, pick your favourite and see them close up.