Articles – Safe chatting on the Internet

Safe Chatting on the Internet

This article is targeted @ the IRC user and parents who are concern about their safety on the Internet especially online chatting.

Chatting on the Internet is a way to make new friends and even learn new things. It is also an alternative way of chatting with your family or friends who are overseas in real time. Chatting over the Internet comes in different form and uses different applications but the most popular of all is IRC or short for Internet Relay Chat.

In IRC, users are connected to a central network of servers and here in Singapore, chatters most of the time connect to a local Galaxynet server. After connecting to a server, you can then enter chat rooms to chat. Chatrooms are also known as Channels and they cover everything from IT chatrooms where people talk about IT sutffs, general chatroom where people talk about everything or clubs chatroom where members of that particular club meet online. The truth is, there are of course chatrooms that chat on anything from sex, pornography and other undesirable stuffs.

To connect to any IRC network, users have to download an application named mIRC. It can be download from http://www.mirc.com

How to be Safe

You cannot be 100% safe on the IRC network if you are careless in chatting but here’s some tips.

1. Use a fake e-mail address when connecting to a IRC network.

2. Do not accept files from people you don’t know.

3. Have a virus scan program such as Norton Antivirus installed on your PC.

4. When meeting up with chatroom friends, ALWAYS meet in groups not alone! Meeting in groups ensures safety and besides, you get to know all the people from that channel all at once!

5. Do not visit chatrooms with “funny looking names”.

6. Never give out personal information such as telephone numbers, your real name, your address, email addresses etc online to anyone, even your own friends. They may not be who they claim to be or someone else may be “listening” in. if you have to give an e-mail address, create a dummy on @ free e-mail sites such as Hotmail.com, Yahoo.com or Mail.com and use this e-mail address for this purposes. Keep your primary e-mail address to yourself and friends you want to know.

7. Inform the IRC administrators if you are offended by anyone. On the Galaxynet IRC network, administrators are located @ channel #outerlimits or leave the channel or disconnection from IRC or the Internet altogether.

They’re out there

Also, pedophiles or just plain nothing-to-do people are out there “hunting” for their first or even NEXT victim, you or your child could be the next one. “Yah right…” you think to yourself but don’t pay the price for ignorance. Here is an article of 2 girls that fell prey to such an evil person.

Nothing is safer than you knowing how to protect yourself. There may be times where it seems, somethings you know on the chatrooms are just too good to be true like a job offer (as in the article below), easy money or just friends you know online who want to meet up but always stay suspicious, especially online, of anyone and anything but hey, I don’t mean asking everyone online for prove that they are just chatters and nothing more. Use your own judgment or ask for help, from parents or PAGi.

It is most of the time just this handful of “bad” chatters looking for prey and tarnishing the fun and joy of chatting online, making new friend from all over world, catching up old friends and the likes. But it is precisely THESE bad guys that causes the kind of alarm the media would love reporting.

Links:
Preventing Porno/ Spyware on your computer and related issues.
Caught on the Web
Specific Video on Safe Chatting on the Internet by PAGi

– Contributed by etegration
10 July 2002


Call to crack down on chatroom child abusers Group representing parents wants review of laws against those who go on the Web to prey on minors
Straitstimes Jul 8 2002
By Selina Lum

IT IS time to get tough on Internet chatroom users who lure children to meet them with the intention of abusing them sexually.

Mrs Carmee Lim, chairman of the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi), says there should be a review of laws here against Net predators like Tan Khay Cheong, who was sentenced to 27 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Friday for raping a 13-year-old girl and a 22-year-old Malaysian undergraduate after meeting them in Internet chatrooms.

Were you ever almost a victim of Net predators?

Mrs Lim suggests following the lead of countries such as Britain and Canada.

In Britain, anyone who uses e-mail, text messages or Internet chatrooms to pick up minors for sex may face jail terms if a new law is passed.

The proposed law which seeks to make an offence of ‘grooming’, or enticing children into sexual activity, is set to be part of a wider Bill reviewing legislation against sexual offences.

A British government taskforce was set up last year after a 33-year-old man posed as a teenager in a chatroom to lure a 13-year-old girl to his home, where he assaulted her sexually.

The British case mirrors that of Tan, a 34-year-old production supervisor with IBM. He is married with two daughters aged five and six, but prowled Internet chatrooms looking for victims.

Now jailed, Tan, who has two daughters, abused a 13-year-old girl sexually over a 15-month period. In his mitigation, his lawyer said that Tan had been reserved and withdrawn from a young age.

Tan became depressed after he was retrenched in 1997. Left alone at home, he became socially isolated and spent a lot of time on the Internet.

It was during this time, that he molested, raped and sodomised a 13-year-old secondary school student over a 15-month period and, on several occasions, in his own Jurong West home.

Tan confused the girl by chatting to her using three different identities, and had such a hold over her through deception and blackmail that she suffered in silence for over a year.

In his statement to the police, he said that he wanted to ‘teach her a lesson’ since she chose to ignore the dangers of chatting on the Net.

His lawyer said that Tan had been having an affair with a woman from China who demanded money from him and insisted that he marry her.

Her constant harassment was said to have led him to rape his second victim, a 22-year-old Malaysian undergraduate, at a Geylang hotel after enticing her with a job offer.

Tan told the police that he did it because he felt she must be ‘loose’ since she had met him on the very day that they had chatted on the Net.

A psychiatric examination showed that Tan was not of unsound mind when he committed the offences.

As for his victims, while the physical scars may have healed, they are still haunted by the emotional and psychological trauma they suffered.

The younger victim has had ‘fleeting thoughts of suicide’ while the other woman continues to ‘experience fear and anxiety during her current job’.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Imran Abdul Hamid said that Tan had used deception and threats to most devasting effect.

‘He is an offender of the cleverest type. He was bold and brazen.’

The authorities here started coming down hard in prosecuting Internet sex cases last year because of a rising trend of such offences.

In 2000, there were eight such rape cases, up from six in the previous year.

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