Your Child and Online Chat RoomsArticle Posted by Expert Author: Jesse Schwarz on 10/31/2014
Despite parental controls available, it’s not possible for Internet providers to control and monitor public chats that occur on websites. So it’s extremely important to do the monitoring yourself if you allow your children to chat online. Many experts recommend that you don’t even let your kids onto these sites, due to the inherent danger involved. There’s no reason why your kids need to be on a public chat room talking to strangers when they can chat with friends and family using Skype, MSN or AOL Instant Messengers (these programs have parental controls built into the program). Essentially, any monitoring you conduct will be to make sure your kids aren’t visiting these chat sites and talking to people they don’t know. If you install a monitoring program on your computer, you can watch where your kids go online from a remote location, as long as you have access to the Internet. This technology has made it possible to protect your kids from online threats even when you’re not at home.
Public chat rooms are dangerous places for young children, and attract a lot of bad apples, for obvious reasons. The Internet has made it extremely easy for criminals to come into direct contact with young children. Chatting is the easiest way to lure kids into very bad situations. Internet service companies don’t offer enough protection against this type of problem, which is why you have to take things into your own hands. Sit down and talk with your kids about some of the dangers that are present online. Tell them not to use public chat rooms or to talk to people on the Internet they don’t know. Explain the dangers of giving out personal information, such as your phone number and address, online. Kids will listen if you take the time to speak with them about Internet issues. You still have to do some monitoring, but sitting down and talking is always a good first step.
If your children really want to use a public chat room to talk with kids their own age, there are some that are made just for youth – these chat rooms are monitored by adults for safety reasons. If you let your kids use this type of service, take a lot of precautions and make sure you keep watch. But don’t just keep an eye on your children’s computer activities – it’s also a good idea to pay attention to their behaviour, mood changes, and anything else that may be happening in their lives. If you notice something strange or different, investigate the matter further to make sure there isn’t something going on in your child’s life that could be dangerous. Monitoring software or parental controls can’t look in the faces of your kids and know when something is amiss – this is where things need to move out of the realm of technology and into the hands of loving and protective parents. Do everything you can to ensure your kids remain safe when they go online. We provide tips for internet safety for kids to help parents be proactive in protecting their children.
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