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How do I educate my child against chatting online with strangers?

The best thing you can do to keep your children safe online is educating them about potential dangers and how to avoid them. Today, kids can do more than just chat with typed words in chat rooms. New technologies and online capabilities have now brought a new era of video-based chat in our lives, which can be useful and fun with family and friends, but isn't appropriate for chatting with strangers.

If you would like to allow your children to access chat rooms, the most important thing to tell your children about online chatting is that people aren't necessarily who they say they are online, and do not trust anyone. Some other important rules to teach your children in regards to IM and chat rooms:
• Never use your real name
• Never share any personal information, like where they live, what school they go to or even what football team they are on
• Never meet anyone an online stranger in person
• Talk to you if they are disturbed by anything in a chat room
• Save a print a copy of any inappropriate chatting

Lastly, always supervise your children's online activities. Always knowing what they doing online is the most effective way to keep them safe. Visit http://www.getsafeonline.org for more information about online security.

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