For kids, chat room safety is of utmost priority, especially in the vast open and frightening arena of the Internet where predators lurk and many other unforeseen obstacles are ever-present.
Safety should be employed for teens (13-18) and ‘tweens’ (10-12, also known as preteens), but safety conditions differ between them due to maturity level.
Tweens and those approaching adolescence, are probably most susceptible to dangers on the Internet. Some forums do exist for them to interact, with parents’ permission. Constant guidance should be employed, and discretion should be maintained when it comes to the display of personal information and images. Private profiles/sites featuring said displays are a good idea, where viewers are allowed only upon invitation. Many kids in this age range practice this police now.
As for teenagers, more freedom and leeway are allowed, as many teens are aware of the many dangers on the Internet, but careful and selective interaction is prudent. Also, images should not reveal too much. Some teens have been prosecuted for possession of ‘child’ pornography even though the respective subjects of the images were themselves.
When it comes to kids’ safety, exclusive chat rooms are very helpful, as sign-on software is especially designed to weed out suspicious or questionable individuals. These chat rooms not only provide the youngsters with playing fields all their own and with like-kind, but also promote constant security so they can engage and have fun in peace.