Updated 28 July 2003, 16.16
Internet safety is on everybody's minds right now and we want to know how you feel.
Are you safe? Do you ever give out personal information? Have you met someone - only to find out they're not who they say they are?
What more can be done to protect children online?
Whenever you're in chatrooms it's always a good idea to be careful. The only details you should give away over the internet is your name. I think that sites should moderate their chatrooms at all times.
Josh, 13, Norwich
I don't think that children/teens should be banned; I do, however, believe that chatrooms need to be safer. My friend has been banned from chatrooms from her friends, but she is allowed to use select ones that are seen as 'safe' (eg. MSN where you can decide who talks to you.) I think it's a bit extreme to ban us altogether! Not all of us abuse the privilege, and not all of us are careless people who don't know the dangers of chatrooms!
Amber, 14, West Sussex
The internet can be dangerous but if you don't give out any personal details then it can be a great place to have fun.
Eleanor, 13, London
I think there should be a block on every family computer for under 15s children cause of chatrooms
Sophia, 12, London
I go to Messageboards - they are more safe. I am a totally different person on the internet. I give NOTHING about me away
Lauren, 9, Edinburgh
I use chat up lines all the time, who cares who u talk to as long as u have a laugh and don't meet up with them!!!!
Gregory, 15, Stirling
I use chatrooms, and I think that they are not dangerous, because if you don't give out personal details, then you are safe, its only dangerous if you give out information your not sposed to. And ignore people who are rude.
Kelly, 14, Kent
Saying that all online chatters are weirdos is stereotypical, not everyone is like that.
Rhian, 12, Ireland
I don't use chat rooms very often and when I have I have found that teen sites have not just got teens on them. They also have older people that are not teens but which are 30 odd. I think that is sickening. So I say only add your friends and ppl that seem ok and if they are talking things u r not comfortable with u can block them from talking to you and delete their contact.
Emma, 13, Kent
I tink dat chatroom are good because its a way 2 talk 2 people and work on your social skills
Hannah, 13, London
I don't go on chatrooms and have only been on once when my friend decided she wanted to show me the one she uses. Her parents don't know that she has even been on one. People said things like "We have a queue of people just waiting to talk to you," and she was pleased. Before the person who said this did say it(well write it) he asked her VERY personal questions which are too disgusting to repeat. I think that chatrooms are unsafe and also unfair because they build people's hopes up. In one of Jaqueline Wilson's GIRLS books, Nadine meets someone in a chatroom and goes to see him alone. Magda and Ellie warn her but she takes no notice. Luckily, Ellie and Magda follow her and see her meet him...he was about 40 (I think).
Judy, 12, Bournemouth
Personally I think like every other danger that faces teenagers: drugs, smoking etc you just have to be careful and if in doubt
tell some one because you can't go on in life being unable to do anything because it's not safe. I know what the dangers are and have met some funny characters while online but the best you can do is to ignore them and leave the chat. Follow the rules you have been given and you should be safe.
Gillian, 12, Glasgow
I think that if you are sensible and don't give out any personal information then you'll be alright. If you are being hassled by somebody simply turn off the computer.
Verity, 15, Bournemouth
Many children are made aware of what precautions to take while they are on an internet chatroom, and they are warned about what might happen, but really it's down to that person to make their own decision on what they think is right and it's their choice whether to follow the provided guidelines, but in the end it's their choice and if anything happens to them if they choose to give out details there is no one to blame except themselves.
Tabitha, 13, Soham
I don't use chat rooms because you don't know who you're talking to.
Rachel, 14, Essex
I don't use chatrooms very often, but I have never had a problem. I think there should be more, safe teen chatrooms, but not ones like HabboHotel, because it takes forever to load. MSN Messenger is brilliant, as you always know who you are talking to.
Zoe, 13, Plymouth
Instant messenger is great because you can only talk to people you know, so I go on that!
Grace, 13, Plymouth
The only chatroom I go in is one on a dance website and we just chat about our dancing. The only personal info I give out is my nickname and my city.
Cat, 15, Bristol
I think the internet is dangerous. I will never go on a chatroom. I think they are not safe.
Becky, 14, Rochdale
I think that most chatrooms are safe - I only go on Newsround ones though. Once someone asked for my email address but I just ignored 'em - that's what u should do
Elizabeth, 9, Essex
I would never go on a chat room now after all the stories I've heard about them.
I use the internet often, sometimes using chat rooms, mostly talking to my own friends. They really only become dangerous if you start giving out your personal details, you just have to be careful. However I don't agree that they should be banned because if you're careful you're safe.
Katie, 15, N Ireland
I think that it's fine to go into chatrooms, just as long as you don't get too involved with the one person. Yo should NEVER give out any personal information or arrange to meet anyone. I prefer to talk to people who I know on messenger services like MSN.
Sara, 14, N Ireland
I think that there is nothing wrong with going in chatrooms if you abide with all the rules that the chatroom has put in place. Don't give out any personal information. Remember that you are only there for a laugh and it should stay a laugh, but just on the internet. It's all very well to say that you should ban people but they could just as easily give a fake ID and get in there anyway.
Hester, 13, Gloucestershire
I'm never allowed onto chatrooms because my mum thinks that they are way too dangerous. My 17-year-old brother isn't even allowed on them.
People have often asked to meet me while I've been on a chatroom, but I just ignore them and log off.
Jackie, 14, Perth
I think chatroomz are completely safe!!!! Chatrooms are just there to meet friends and talk on the net ONLY!!! So I think they are safe.
Lauren, 15, Bolton
Chatrooms should be age restricted and site owners should keep a record of who goes on. Also no one should give away their personal info.
Gwynneth, 10, Tilehurst
I feel safe in chatrooms coz u can check people's profiles and if u don't like the sound of them u can just block them. You don't have to go and meet up with them. I'm always in chatrooms and I have people talking to me that r like 38 and I just block them, IT'S NOT HARD!!!!
Holli, 16, Hersham
I use the Newsround chatroom because I know it's safe but I don't normally go on others bcoz I don't trust them as much. This one is also better because there's just ppl under 16. I usually also only give out my 1st name and the county which I live in.
Sarah, 13, Oxfordshire
I am very careful when I go on the internet. I have never been on a chatroom and I would never want to any way. I only email. I don't think chatrooms are safe at all. I think they should be banned.
Charlotte, 11, Essex
I'm usually am OK with them, but most people start off a conversation OK, but then head off in the wrong direction! It's soooooo annoying, aren't there any normal people on there?
Sarah, 14, Bristol
I only use Private Chatrooms and talk to cousins who live in England.
Katie, 11, St.Helier, Jersey
The only messageboard that I ever go to is Newsround's. Other than that I don't feel comfortable using other chat rooms or messageboards.
Dawn, 14, Canada
I'm not allowed on the chat rooms, but I don't mind because I don't think they're safe. I prefer emailing people.
Emily, 14, Midlands
I think that they should try and make it safer to use. But if that doesn't work then they should ban kids from using chatrooms.
Kat, 10, Manningtree
My parents have given me a time limit on the internet and if I see a dogdy website then I get off it as soon as possible! All my penpals I have met so I feel safe when I write to them.
Vicki, 11, Glasgow
I've been using an internet chatroom for a couple of months now. My parents have warned me about bad people on there but I still go on. I just make sure I don't give away my personal details and if someone annoys me, I leave straightaway. There are always monitors watching it anyway. And you can call them through a special button if you feel unsafe or scared of somebody. I don't think people should be banned, just be careful!
Katrina, 13, Southampton
The internet is not safe, and I don't feel safe talking to people that I have never seen before.
Becky, 13, Bristol
I think that chat rooms are safe as long as you never give out any details to somebody you don't know!
Richard, 12, Bradford
I think that children under the age of 16 shouldn't be allowed on chat sites that have not got an adult watching what information your giving out to people. It's unsafe.
Sian, 11, Birmingham
I really don't see what's so bad about chatrooms, even though I prefer using ones like MSN Messenger, so I only talk to people I know. Maybe there should be monitors in the rooms, in case a young child goes on, and someone starts acting suspiciously.
Annabella, 13, Maidenhead
I never go on chatrooms because I'm worried about dodgy people, only fan site chatrooms. I prefer to e-mail my American pen pals instead. It's much more interesting and they send pictures to me too. The only website I e-mail is Newsround!
Michaela, 11, Staffs
I think that chatrooms are great. You can meet different interesting people from all over the world and so chatrooms can be very fun. I don't think people should be put off using chatrooms by all of this, I just think people need to be told about the dangers and should always remember that if they feel unsafe, they can just leave.
Joe, 14, Birmingham
I don't think anyone can feel safe on the internet these days. They are very dangerous as you don't know who you are talking to and if the person you are talking to is telling the truth.
Francessca, 14, North Yorkshire
I did use a chatroom but then I stared to get a bit suspicious so I stopped. But at the end of the day it is you that makes it safe, if you stick by the rules you are safe.
Hollie, 12, Cambs
I never use chatrooms coz I think they're dodgy but I spend ages on BBC websites coz I know those are safe.
Freya, 11, Bristol
I feel completely safe - I email loads of people who I meet on, message boards etc from places like Sweden, New Zealand, America and UK. I know I have enough sense to handle people and if anyone gets nasty then I go on a different board and change my name.
Rosie, 12, Sheffield
The internet is your responsibility, you make it safe. Go on web pages you know, not ones you don't & when going on chatrooms don't give any personal details & NEVER see the person you speak to!
Maria, 12, Westhoughton
I go on websites all the time, talking to people is fun, but you should never arrange to meet up. I think young children should be supervised when using the internet because they don't know what they are going on and could talk to anyone.
Mig, 14, Cambridge
I think that the internet is VERY unsafe because many websites have small print. As you are pressing your nose to the screen trying to read it, the monitor could easily fall on top of your head AND KILL YOU!!!!
Sarah, 13, Northern Ireland
I once went on a chatroom and this lad was really nasty and rude, ever since then he's emailed me. Eventually, I changed my email address, I don't always feel safe.
Riohana, 13, Cambridge
You have to put your details onto every site, even this one, just to add a comment!
Kim, 13, Maghull
I feel safe cos I don't go on chatrooms or anything like that. The only people I e-mail are my mates, even then I prefer to text! I think more should be done to protect kids.
Laura, 13, Southampton
I feel safe. I usually stick to the BBC's So and Newsround message boards! I definitely feel safe on those!
Kayleigh, 14, Wethersfield, USA
I think it's safe if you let it be. I know never to give out personal details to anyone I don't know. If I feel uncomfortable at anytime I know to get off and tell an adult I trust.
Hayley, 14, St Helen's
I think the internet is safe. But I do think that if you are going on a chatroom, you should never give out personal details or meet without an adult.
Hannah, 12, Birmingham
I don't always feel safe on the internet. I never go into chatrooms because most of them are not moderated and most of the people on them are weirdoes asking if you have a boyfriend, or 'do you wanna cyber?' They're sick. I prefer to stick to the moderated message boards.
Michelle, 16, Liverpool
If you go on the right websites it is ok. Like the message boards on this website have moderators that prevent you from finding out people's email addresses, arranging to meet them or talking about unsafe websites.
Kriti, 12, Essex
I feel safe on the internet most of the time but you have to be careful! If I ever go onto a normal chatroom I never give out any personal information about myself because once I had trouble with a man who seemed to know everything about me and my friends!
Abi, 12, Edinburgh
It's safe for me, the only chat room I go on is the boards on Newsround!
Hannah, 12, Milton Keynes
I use the internet safely. I only chat to people who I know from school.
Luke, 14, Birmingham
I think the internet can be dangerous. I only go on chatrooms I know are safe.
Rahana, 12, Leeds
Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.