teach-ict.com logo

THE education site for computer science and ICT

3. Problems with online contact

The main reason that your parents and teachers worry about which online services you are using is because you can’t always tell who you are talking to. 

Think of social media and online areas such as

  • Forums
  • Online game player direct messaging
  • Chatrooms
  • Social media messaging

Most of the time, someone you chat to will be genuine.  You can have a conversation with them, have a laugh, tell each other about things and over time build up a real friendship.

But you do need to be aware that not everyone in these areas may be really who they say they are. 

Because you can’t see who you are talking to, the person called pinkbunny might not really be a 13 year old girl.  They might be a 45 year old man who gets a kick from chatting to young girls or boys, or perhaps even worse, trying to meet up with them in real life.

We don’t want to scare you, but you only need to look at the news stories almost every week to read about a young person who was tricked into meeting someone who wasn’t who they said they were.

But, when you use these areas you do need to follow some basic rules to make sure that you stay safe.

Online messaging areas can be great fun and so long as you use them safely and your parents agree, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use them.