Children and the Internet: meeting people over the Net
: We’re always hearing lots about rogue contacts on social networks. How can I teach my daughter (13) to develop a "feeling" about who she can and can’t chat with? Should I ban her from going on all these sites?
L.C: You should remind children that anybody can tell lies on the Internet and can pretend to be someone younger. Chatting with a stranger isn't the problem; but children must remain vigilant and not give out personal information.
Meeting up with strangers in real life is not recommended. If however, there is a meet-up, the child should always be accompanied by an adult. And the meet-up should be in a public place, in daylight.
As for webcams, prudence is required. There are many exhibitionists on the Internet who can shock young children. Banning your daughter is not a solution because a teenager will always find a way to get on the site anyway (at a friend's, in an Internet cafe, etc).