A chat room is like a hang out space where different users come to talk and meet new people online. Their text-based conversations appear on screen instantly, much like instant messaging, but the conversations of all the users are visible to everyone in the "room."
Popular chat rooms
Why it's great
There's a chat room for almost any interest! Whether you want to talk about sports, movies, music or with people your own age, it's easy to find people with the same interests as you. Chat rooms are great places to socialize with lots of people at once, keep in touch with friends and family and express your opinions.
The not so great
Not everyone uses chat rooms to simply have fun and talk about common interests. Some users can be bullies, while others may lie about who they are and try to trick you to give away personal information.
If you don't know a user from the real world don't agree to meet with them unless you bring a trusted adult with you.
Some chat rooms are monitored by an adult, but some are not. An adult monitored chat room is carefully watched over to make sure users aren't being nasty to one another.
Explore it together!
Finding a chat room with people your age and interests similar to yours can be tough. There are tons of chat rooms out there, so check them out as a family and decide together which ones will be the most fun for you.
Top concerns for chat rooms:
Never reveal your real name. Use a cool nickname instead!
Personal information stays personal. Your address and phone number are private.
Never arrange to meet in person without a trusted adult — not everyone online is who they say they are!
Don't enter a private chat room with someone you don't know from the real world.
Leave right away if a chat topic makes you feel uncomfortable.
Get more tips on how you can make chat rooms safer for your kids
Introduce yourself to your child’s chat room friends — especially if your child wants to meet them.
Discuss possible warning signs (such as discussing kissing) that a conversation is going in the wrong direction. These warning signs should be taken seriously even if they appear to be coming from someone who says they are the same age as your child. Chat room users often lie about who they really are.
We teach our children to respect and listen to authority, which can make it hard for them to leave an uncomfortable conversation. Online predators use this fact to control a child’s behaviour.
Find out if the chat rooms your child visits are monitored, and whether a person or a computer monitors them.