Safety for Everyone: (includes additional reading for parents)
We do our best to maintain a safe environment, but much of that safety must come from your actions, not ours.
We all are eager to make good friends, but slow down. We are here all the time. Making real friends takes time so please take a few weeks or months to get to know someone before you give out personal information. Until then:
- Do not give out your full name or last name. First names only.
- Do not give anyone your phone number.
- Do not give anyone your home address.
- If someone wants to know what city you live in, give them some nearby city name instead.
- Do not give anyone your email address.
- Do not give anyone your Facebook, Skype, Yahoo messenger etc information.
- Do not give anyone your password.
- Remember, if you give someone your Facebook page, you are giving them every single piece of information they need to find you, stalk you, rob you and potentially harm you and every member of your family. Do not share your Facebook page with someone you don't know personally.
Sexual predators are very sneaky people. They seem real nice and will engage you in friendly conversation. Soon they will begin dropping in words and phrases that will steer you into sexual situations and before you know it, you could be in for serious trouble. Keep in mind the following:
- You are not obligated to talk to anyone.
- If someone makes you uncomfortable, stop talking to them.
- If you believe someone here is a sexual predator, stop talking to them and CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY.
Some warning signs to watch for:
- People who try to engage you in private chat as soon as you enter the room.
- People who are overly fixated on highly personal subjects, things you would usually not discuss with a total stranger. Many times this will be about amputations, incontinence, diapers, catheters and other highly personal subjects. If they can't seem to get off the subject, consider it a serious warning sign.
- People who go out of their way to make you feel sorry for them. Do not let people abuse your sympathy.
- People who suddenly ask you if you have a picture or a webcam or ask for your Facebook, Skype, Yahoo messenger information. If you give this information to a total stranger, you're a total idiot.
Be safe, not sorry. Use the brains God gave you.
This section is for parents:
With regard to the Disabilities-R-Us chat room, children are not permitted. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Most of us in the room are in our 30's to 50's and a few in our 80's. We are not a teen dating site and even though we can be a little silly sometimes, we do try to round it out with real discussions about life and world situations.
With regard to other chat sites, here are some things you should consider before allowing your child enter any online chatroom:
DANGER: (the following is quite blunt and may offend bad parents)
Children should not be in chat rooms. Instead, they should be outside playing with friends or doing some other supervised activity that involves fresh air. Most people in chat rooms are adults and who more than occasionally talk about adult subjects -- things children should learn from parents, not strangers in a chatroom.
If your child is under the age of 18 and you allow them to have unsupervised access to a computer -- like in a child's bedroom or basement -- please consider not having anymore children.
"Why is that?" you ask?
We have seen way too many children give just enough information about themselves to where it took only a matter of seconds to get their home addresses and phone numbers. The Internet is not as private as you might think.
Also, and to some parents disbelief, over the years we have had the unfortunate opportunities to assist in having over a dozen unwise testosterone filled young adults hauled off in handcuffs by various state and federal law enforcement agencies for committing serious illegal acts online. The parents lose all their savings to criminal defense lawyers -- and then the fun part happens -- the civil lawsuits begin.
Almost all of the parents of these children lived in denial and believed that their "little angels" were just using the Internet to do homework, talk with buddies, and download cookie recipes. Not so. Many computer literate adolescents like to pretend they are "hackers" and end up getting themselves into all sorts of trouble that you as a parent may have never even conceived of. Again, the Internet is not as private as you might think and some people, when provoked, will retaliate in ways that the child's parent(s) may find physically, emotionally and financially uncomfortable.
It all comes down to this: If you respect your child's privacy online, you're stupid.
If you think you might be one of these parents, or you're not sure, you should read The Hacker Diaries : Confessions of Teenage Hackers.