The risks of chatting online are many. These are a few to look out for.
While you may not think that you have much to steal, identity theft is a huge issue. For many cybercriminals, they are looking for teens with a blank slate to open up accounts and credit cards on. This can be extremely dangerous and follow you for the rest of your live.
Cyberbullying can happy anywhere at any time to anyone. You don’t have to be online for a long time to be cyberbullied and the impact of it can be huge. It only takes a few seconds to type something mean and hurtful to someone and it can’t be unheard or unread. Cyberbullying can be quite dangerous due to the fact that it is quite anonymous. For example, there may be a girl who’s been chatting to another “teenage” boy for a few weeks. Shortly after, the conversation starts to turn and he begins cyberbullying her. He shares private images of her that she sent him and he is now using them to cause her embarrassment. It turns out that he is a 40-year old man who lives on the other side of the world and is bullying her for his own enjoyment. She had no idea who he really was and no one had any idea that it was happening. Cyberbullying can take on many forms from hurtful messages to sharing private images and information to embarrass someone. It can also be taken to a higher extreme that involves threats of violence.
Online predators are another huge risk of chatting online. Predators are lurking in chat rooms looking for information that they can use in their online or in person attacks. This information could be where they go to school, who they are friends with, when their birthday is etc. They use this information to earn your trust. Once they have this information, they will pose as a teen or someone in a trusted position such as a teacher or coach to earn your trust. Once they have earned your trust, they persuade you to share nude photos or perform sexually explicit tasks via web cam or video. Some online predators will then encourage a meet up in person where teens may become sexually abused.
These are just 3 risks of online chats. There are many other risks worth considering as well including inappropriate content on the internet, hate speech and more.
So if you feel uncomfortable about the chats you’re having online, please call us, we will figure it out together with you!