Naughty People Online
Sometimes there are good people who do bad things but don't mean to. Everyone knows these people. They are you and me. But, sometimes there are bad and naughty people who pretend to be nice, pretend to be someone else, or just different from the person they really are so they can do bad things. Since you were a baby, your parent or guardian taught you how to take care of yourself: crossing the street, brushing your teeth, and NO TALKING TO STRANGERS. The same is true connecting to the internet.
If your parents do not let you stay home by yourself, you are not yet old enough to go to chatrooms or use instant messaging without adult supervision. This is not because you are immature or a baby. It is because the naughty people depend on you believing what they tell you. Adults too need to watch out for these people but adults usually have more experience protecting themselves.
Here is how naughty people typically get what they want.
They pretend to be someone they're not. Most of us do this on the internet. Some people call it flirting, others call it bragging - whatever. The naughty people take their time to make a real friendship with you. Amazingly, you have almost the identical interests and experiences; or they are able to help you with something that everyone else you know just can't.
Most times they want to exchange pictures with you. The picture they send you will probably not be their picture. When you tell them you aren't allowed to send pictures of yourself, they will ask you again and again at different times. If your online friend is a real friend, they will understand and not ask you to disobey your parents.
Real online friends do not need to meet you in person or talk on the phone. You can hang out with this person online and they are very satisfied playing games, talking about what's going on, schoolwork, etc without telling them your real or last name, where you live, what school you go to, where your parents shop, work or what time they are home. Naughty persons ask again and again for this information.
Naughty people make up an excuse for you not to tell anyone about their friendship. It does not matter what reason they give. There is no excuse or reason to hide friendships.
Naughty people will make up anything they think you will believe to get you away from everyone who will protect you. They can tell you that they are in real trouble and have no one else to ask for help, "please help me NOW!", they could say. Or, they try to convince you that they can help you get away from the awful situation you are in. Or, they just want to go shopping with you - their best friend. Or, they have an extra ticket to the concert your parents won't let you attend. Or, whatever they feel will convince you to leave your family and friends - to be by yourself - just for a couple of minutes.
A couple of minutes. That is all it takes for these naughty people to get you completely under their control so they can do whatever they want with or to you.
Your parents do not make up rules because they want to be mean or limit how much fun you have. Rules are so you and your family will stay safe. Everyone lives by rules. There are rules for the school, town, city, county, state and country we live in. Everyone is required to follow the rules. When we break the rules, then we have car accidents, abuse, fires, sometimes death, etc. You and your parents can read about cyberstalking HERE.
As we all get older, we learn how to recognize the good people and the naughty people. All we can do is obey the adults who protect us, try to follow the rules, and learn to avoid people who want to hurt us so everyone stays safe.