Rules to Set for Online Message Boards and Chat Rooms

Rules to Set for Online Message Boards and Chat Rooms

Internet Safety for Kids:  Rules to Set for Online Message Boards and Chat Rooms

Is your child or teenager interested in meeting new people online?  At this age, they aren’t very likely to meet the person in real life, but communicate through way of the internet instead.  As nice as this sounds, it is important to remember that it can still be dangerous.  Just because your child is talking to someone who claims to be another teenager, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. 

Since it is relatively easy for false identities to be created online, especially for internet and child predators, you will want to set strict rules if you intend to let your child use online message boards and internet chat rooms to do this communicating.  As for what you rules you should set, it will honestly depend on your child’s age.  Teenagers may have a little bit more freedom, but still don’t let them use online chat rooms, online message boards, or the internet in general without at least a few rules.

One of the many rules that you may want to impose, concerning internet chat rooms and online message boards is approval.  Instead of letting your child pick which websites they want to visit, you can do so for them.  Favorite place the approved message boards and online chat rooms so that your child can easily find them.

As for how you can find safe chat rooms and message boards for your child to use, you will want to get started with a standard internet search.  Closely examine all of the websites that appear on your screen.  Are private messages allowed?  Most chat rooms and message boards for kids have them disabled, as this is how many internet predators target children.  Also, look for moderated forums and chat rooms, as this means that all content is reviewed by an adult.

You may also want to set rules as to when your child can use an online message board or an internet chat room.  For example, only allow your child to communicate and socialize online when you are at home or even in the same room.  This internet safety for kids step works pretty well, especially for teenagers.  They are less likely to have adult conversations, share personal information, or exchange pictures or videos when you are in the same room or when they know that they are being watched.

It is also a good idea to limit the amount of time that your child can use online message boards or internet chat rooms.  It often takes internet predators more than one discussion to gain the trust of a child target.  For that reason, you will want to be cautious if your child signs onto the internet at the same time everyday.  Ask your child if they can wait until later or start using the internet earlier.  If they can’t or don’t want to, they may be meeting someone online to talk directly to.  That is why it is always a good idea to limit when your child can use online message boards and chat rooms and for how long.

You should prohibit your child from posting pictures or videos of themselves online, as this makes them an easy target.  If your child wants to post a picture, have them pick out a generic picture online, of like a football or a flower.  Also, do not let your child exchange personal information online.  Remember that they are not the only ones in danger if your child gives away your address or phone number, as the rest of your family may end up in danger as well.

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