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"We have seen cases where under-16s have been approached by people pretending to be same age, but who are grown adults trying to solicit young people for abusive contact," Mr Whittingham explained.
He added that, although most messages in chatrooms were not inappropriate, a "small minority" had spoilt chat for people of all ages.
Our recommendation is that you become intentional about that and implement a specific plan designed to set up a hedge around your daughter’s innocence.
Start by talking to her about the responsible use of the web.
In addition, you can restrict the chat rooms she visits to so-called “safe chats” that are monitored by adult hosts who work for the internet provider.
These hosts will report any suspicious communication to law enforcement and will block access to users who send inappropriate messages to others.
It’s important to explain that you’re not implementing these changes out of a desire to “spy,” but rather to make sure that your child is protected from harmful influences or dangerous people.
If she complains that you’re “violating her privacy,” make it clear that you will do your best to respect her online conversations with friends, but point out that, as a minor living under your roof, her privacy is limited.
Bottom line: As parents, it’s our responsibility to protect our children from the many risks they face in today’s toxic culture.
It would also be an excellent idea to invest in internet filtering software or sign up with a provider that blocks objectionable websites and allows for parental monitoring.
There are also software programs available that will allow you to keep track of every key stroke your child makes when sending an e-mail or an instant message.
"We regret responsible users will be affected by this move, but we looked at this very carefully and on balance to safeguard customer interests," said Mr Whittingham.
By only making instant messaging available, chatters will be able to restrict and control who they talk to because they can only chat to people on their "buddy lists".