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2/20/08-Ben found this http://www.microsoft.com/protect/family/activities/chatrooms.mspx

Safety tips for chat rooms

Published: September 18, 2006
Chat rooms are virtual places on the Internet where people can type messages that will appear on other people's computers almost immediately.
Chats are usually anonymous since the participants use nicknames to identify themselves.
Many people refer to instant message (IM) conversations as "chatting," but there is a slight difference between IM and chat.
IM usually refers to a conversation between two people, whereas chat is a conversation with a group.
Tip: You can use IM programs like Windows Live Messenger to chat with an invidual or a group.
==5 safety tips for chat rooms ==
1.
Never give out your personal information in a chat room.
2.
Never agree to meet a stranger in person whom you met in a chat room.
3.
When you're asked to enter or sign up for a chat nickname, choose a name that doesn't give away your personal information. For example, you might use SavvySue instead of DetroitSue.
4.
Be wary of other chatters who ask you to meet in private chat rooms.
5.
Check the terms and conditions, code of conduct, and privacy statement at the chat site before you begin chatting.
Chat rooms are a popular form of communication for kids. Unfortunately, predators know this. Therefore, chatting poses a particular threat for kids and teenagers.
Here are five additional tips specifically for parents of kids who want to participate in chat rooms. For more information, read A parent's guide to online safety: Ages and stages.
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6 chat room safety tips for kids

1.
Monitor your child's use of chat. Remember, kids can participate in chats using Web sites, chat software programs, cell phones, and even some online games.
2.
Tell your child that if something in a chat room makes them feel uncomfortable, they should immediately leave the chat room and tell an adult.
3.
Insist that your child never send photographs of themselves to anyone they meet in a chat room.
4.
Learn the chat lingo. Kids often communicate using shorthand. For example, POS means "Parent over Shoulder."
5.
Tell kids to stick to moderated chats.
6.
Consider software designed to help keep your kids safer online, such as Windows Live OneCare Family Safety and the Parental Controls included in the Windows Vista operating system.



Andrew found on http://www.wiredsafety.org/safety/chat_safety/chatrooms/index.html

  • Anything you type in a chat room can be seen by everyone who is using that chat room so be careful what you type. In cyberspace the walls don't so much have ears as eyes.
  • Choose an non identifiable, non gender specific screen name (and keep it clean!)
  • Never give out any personal information whilst chatting online . That means your real name, telephone or cell phone number[s], mailing address, passwords, banking details etc. Ignore requests for personal information like A/S/L and be vague with responses to questions like WITW.
  • Never accept files or downloads from people you don't know or from people you do know, if you weren‘t expecting them. This includes URLs.
  • Never arrange to meet someone offline that you only know through chat room conversations.
  • Make sure you know how to save copies of your chat room conversations.
  • Make sure you now how to report problems to the chat room moderator.
  • Remember your Netiquette and be nice! Don’t send mean chat messages, get involved in chat room arguments (flaming) or incite others to do so. More...
Basic safety tips for IRC channels
  • Anything you type in an IRC channel can be seen by everyone who is using that channel so be careful what you type.
  • Choose an non identifiable, non gender specific screen name (and keep it clean!)
  • Never give out any personal information whilst chatting online . That means your real name, telephone or cell phone number[s], mailing address, passwords, banking details etc. Ignore requests for personal information like A/S/L and be vague with responses to questions like WITW.
  • Never accept files or downloads from people you don't know or from people you do know, if you weren‘t expecting them. This includes URLs, Direct Channel Connections (DCC) or private messages (PMs). When you accept a DCC transmission you are DCC transmissions can contain malicious files, viruses and be used to glean information about and/or "nuke" people.
  • Never arrange to meet someone offline that you only know through IRC conversations.
  • Make sure you know how to save copies (logs) of your IRC conversations.
  • Remember your Netiquette and be nice! Don’t send mean chat messages, get involved in arguments or incite others to do so (although it is occasionally OK to slap someone with a fish...) More...

This hopefully usefull info was found by Steven. I found this website at http://www.chatdanger.com/chat/.
i hope it isnt that bad.

external image title_chatroom.gif

Thinking of setting up your own chatroom, or wanting to know what chatroom providers should be doing to keep their users safe?

If you are thinking of setting up a chatroom, then you must put user safety as a top priority.
You can do this in a number of ways:
  • Provide the user with information about how to keep safe while chatting/using your service. The more visible this information is to the user the better – think about putting it on the front page or in the chatroom itself. Design your own safety messages, or you can download the SMART rules banner from this website which will rotate the safety messages, take up less room on your site and act as a link to the Chatdanger website.
  • Provide links to other safety guides, so any user interested in finding out more about keeping safe can do so.
  • Make it clear to the user the type of service being offered and the audience at which it is aimed. Explain for example if it is moderated or not, and what ages your chatroom is aimed at.
  • If there are personal profiles attached to the chatroom, encourage users not to post personal information.
  • Put block or ignore buttons in an accessible place for users, and make them easy to use, so users can stop seeing messages from a particular person if they want to.
  • Provide an easy and accessible method for users to contact the chatroom provider or moderator to report bad stuff or bad behaviour, and provide information about what sort of things should be reported.
  • Look at how the chat could be moderated, and think carefully about who the moderators are. Moderators are in a position of trust over the users.
  • If there is a registration process, explain why information is gathered during registration and what it is to be used for. The information gathered should be limited.
There are some guidelines on what is good practice in chatroom provision, and these were issued by the Home Office of the UK Government in January 2003. The actual good practice model is available here: