Protecting your child from Peadophiles:

I have been using the internet since it first came about almost. Over the last 5 or 6 years i have also been using online "chat" systems. Ive made many friends which are now personal friends not online friends, and I met my wife originally online. Chat is a great place to meet new people, talk about things, have fun, or if it your cup of tea, live out a fantasy life. You can be whoever you want online, you can be that sexy 19year old blonde cheerleader with the body of a goddess and so forth, whos going to know? Unfortunately, this is used in a bad way too. Peadophiles. I hate them, I cant stand them, i would like to kick every single one of their asses from here to Iraq, but unfortunately, they are sly little buggers, and also pretty good at what they do. Online chat rooms are the ideal place for them. they can be whoever they want and lure unsuspecting children into their sick ways and often no one has a clue until its to late. However, when you have been using chat for a while, you pick up some "tricks of the trade" if you like, and you become good at profiling people you talk to. Its obvious to me now when someone isnt who they say they are, its not so obvious if they are just someone messing around, or they have other intentions, but there are ways to keep your children safer in chat rooms, instead of just not allowing them in there at all. So here are my tips and tricks on how to be safer in chat. Its by no means 100% fool prof, but it helps.

First off, remember the golden rule. You dont know them, they dont know you. at first at least. Now this has the obvious disadvantage, however, it also works to your advantage. When you first talk to someone, they dont know if your a 14year old girl, or a 56year old woman. If you are a 14year old girl, dont admit it. Lie! yes, thats bad i know, but if someone is after young children, and you tell them your 18years old, you have straight away removed yourself from their target list. If their intentions are bad, they wont bother with you anymore and will move on.

If you are under the age of 16, dont put that in your online profile. leave it blank or make out your older than you are. Most of the time a peadophile will search Yahoo! profiles or whatever chat server they use, and search for ages they are looking for. If you have no age listed, you wont come up in the search.

So how do you know if the person you are talking to, really is who they say they are?
Well, you dont for sure ever, however if you are just out to mess around or have fun, then its very easy for you to live your little tale and not worry about it. But if someone is seriously trying to hide who they really are, it is easy to spot some things:

Age. They will usually make out to be a young child themselves, leading you into believing they are someone your age to have fun with. Its easy to pretend to be young, to a young person, but not so easy with someone who knows what to look for. I have had many people talk to me and make out they are a young person, after a few sentances, they have been exposed by me to be much older and have left. What their intentions were, I dont know, but obviously they didnt want anyone to know the real them.
So, how do you spot an age lie. First off, if the person is much older than they make out, you can tell by how they type. Especially if they use a messenger, such as Yahoo! or AIM, because that tells you when they are typing a message. If they type fast, seem to be able to type long sentances quickly, then chances are they are experienced or older. Children will have to think about spelling, find keys etc, it will take them a while to type, and adult who can spell and knows how to use a keyboard will be able to blast out sentances quickly. Thats the first giveaway
Spelling and punctuation. Kids dont care about punctuation, especially young kids. they will not use commas, or anything like that. Spelling is not going to be great either. Some kids are very smart, and can spell very well, but your average 13 year old is not going to be using big words spelt perfectly.
What do they talk about? Most yuong kids in chat arnt out for sensible convosations, they are out to mess around, talk about stuff kids talk about. However, if this person seems extremely interested in you and seems to like everything you do, then chances are, they arnt who they claim. Kids will be kids, and like to show off, boast, especially boys. Boys that age dont care what you like and wont be interested in you that much personally. They want to show off and be cool and stuff. talk about how they beat level 16 on some game thats really hard, or how they pulled a wheelie on their bike.
The profile. I will come onto profiles more later, but its worth mentioning here. Always profile a person. Chances are they wont mess up that easily, and either wont be an age listed or it will match what they say, but its worth looking anyway. Another key feature is the "creation date" if the chat system uses it. Peadophiles have a habit of changing usernames frequently, to avoid being detected or "known" This date cant be altered by them, and so by looking at that you know when that profile was made. If it is a new date, the same day or day before, then be careful and avoid them.

So they past the age test, what next? well then you have to study. What do they ask.
Few very important rules here.
First, NEVER give your full name. First name OK, most people will want to know that, makes it more friendly, but a genuine person will be quite satisfied with that, and wont want to know your surname etc. If they ask for your surname you ignore them and dont answer. With your full name they can track you down quite easily.
Second is Location. Never tell anyone where you are from. Its likely that people will want to know where you are from, but they only want to know which country or state. If they ask you more specifics, again, ignore them. Dont fall for the usual "oh really? im from there too, where abouts are you?" you dont know they are really from there, just like they dont know you are really from there, keep it that way.
Third. Be careful with trick questions. example. "Your from Ohio huh? my friend moved to Ohio, what school do you go to?" Innocent enough question, but if you give them your school name, they have you. its very easy to find out where you are from just that information.
Another example "Your from Ohio? Im from Ohio too, im in Springfield" Ok very interesting. But could be a trap. You would then think, oh they arnt from me, and must trust me to tell me that. "ohh cool, im from someplace". you just gave them your location and didnt realise it.A better response would be "oh cool, you like it there? what school you go to?" you havnt given anything away and infact turned it into a question in your favor. because if you have any doubt at all, you can easily find out if the school exists, and even may catch them out, because they may not be from there and so wont be able to give you an answer. Either avoid the question or take a long time to answer as they search quickly to find a school there.

try and remember their answers. Chances are, over time they will slip up and mess up. If you pick it up, you know you have them. Once you have picked up on something. Dont take the chance, leave it there. Obviously they will try and cover themselves, it may well be a genuine mistake, or innocent lie to begin with, but its not worth the risk.
Following on from that, im going to bring up profiles aagin. The profile can be a powerful tool, but unfortunately, is usually optional, and very easy to fake or not have at all. but check it. read it, see what they say about themselves. Your more likely to spot a mess up when something they say doesnt match up to their profile, and they are trying to interest you. Hobbies etc are worth remembering. BUT NEVER TELL THEM you have looked at their profile. Maybe it says they enjoy skateboarding. You can say, something about skateboarding and see their answer. "I dont like skateboarding, i dont see the point in it". If they genuinly like skateboarding, they will come back with an answer to defend it. If they then say "oh nor do i, i think its stupid" they are trying to make you like them, and you just caught them out.

Never ever arrange to meet someone and make it clear from the start you have no intentions of meeting them. i dont care how old you think you are, you shouldnt meet anyone off the internet when you are young. Dont lead them on thinking they will get to meet you. that just makes them more determined and can end in serious consequencies.


Remember all that and that will make your online chat experience that little bit safer, but not 100%