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Chat rooms can be a safe place to have a laugh if you just remember a few important things. All you really need to do is keep your wits about you and trust your judgement. Take a look at the five key points below.
• People on the Internet may not be who they say they are.
• Whatever you do, don't give out contact info, like your phone number and address.
• Be careful what you say about your friends and their personal info. They've told you as a mate, so you shouldn't pass anything on to people they don't know.
• If you're posting a profile, don't include any info which could help to identify you offline - again that means your personal email address, mobile phone number, home or school address and also pictures of yourself.
• You should never really meet up with someone you chatted to online - even if you think the person is OK. Paedophiles are just one online form of predator who are seriously clever; and they will often spend months gaining your trust before asking to meet you.
If in spite of our advice above if you do meet someone in real life:
• Always tell someone where you are going, who you are meeting and when they can expect you home.
• Always meet in a public place.
• Ideally, take a friend with you. Get them to do the same and have double the fun!
• Do not invite anyone to your home or go to theirs until you feel you know them well enough.
• If you’ve got one, take your mobile phone and make sure it’s fully charged and has calling credit.
• Get someone to call you at a pre-arranged time to check everything is OK and give you an alibi if you want to escape.
For more information on how to keep safe in Chatrooms, please visit the following sites: