If you enjoy gabbing with your peers and want to continue when school is out, teenagers online chat rooms are a great place to meet other like-minded people your age and maybe even engage in lighthearted flirting.
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That like dating and teen chat room people child learns how to really single.
If you must, meet in a public place and bring along some friends. If the topic turns to sex, just out.
Much has been written about dangers on the Internet, but if your child is going to get in trouble online, chances are that it will be because of something that happens in a chat room. Millions of children engage in chat and instant messaging every day and the overwhelming majority are not victimized. However, the fact that they represent a tiny fraction of kids online is of no conciliation to those children or their families.
Most of these cases, says Rodriquez, involve a similar methodology. The perpetrator lurks in a public chat room looking for he thinks is vulnerable. When he finds someone who seems vulnerable, he invites the child into a private area of the chat room to get better acquainted.
Next comes private chat via an instant message service followed by e-mail, phone conversations and, finally, youth chat rooms face-to-face meeting. The United Kingdom recently experienced its first reported case of that was seduced into a sexual relationship by an adult encountered online.
The girl is 13 and the man — who is now serving a five-year jail sentence, is In this UK case, the initial contact took place in a chat room and was followed by a daily exchange of e-mail, including some in which the man sent the girl sexually explicit photographs. There were also regular conversations on a mobile phone and, finally, a series of meetings at his apartment, which eventually led youth chat rooms sexual intercourse.
After the third meeting, the girl confided in her parents who contacted the police. Children who are relatively quiet in online chats are especially targeted, says Rodriquez. The ones playing the game are already getting recognition.
His first tactic is to create a comfort level, typically by posing as a young person about the same age as the intended victim. Sexual predators, according to Rodriquez, are often very skilled at their crimes.
It sometimes takes months to turn a contact from a chat room into a sexual victim. In some cases, the child continues to believe that the person on the other end of the chat sessions and e-mail is up until the meeting.
Williams cautions parents that the chat itself is only a meeting point. In many cases, the child and the perpetrator are together in the chat room for a very short time and continue the conversation via e-mail and other venues, including mobile phones. The answer, says Rodriquez and other safety experts, is to try to keep in close touch with what your kids are doing online.
Be especially wary if they always keep the door shut or turn off the monitor the moment you walk in the door. Williams urges parents to talk with their children about Internet safety.
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