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What's the safest instant message service for kids? I've used Skype before and get random people soliciting me for adult material, free virus scans, etc... Does Google Talk only allow you to chat with people you have added as a friend and they have confirmed?

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closed as not constructive by slhck Sep 16 '12 at 15:48

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It really depends on how you use it. Any decent IM client will allow you to restrict incoming messages to only people on your contact list (Yes, Skype has this option too). Beyond that, it's up to teaching your child who are appropriate people to add to their contact list, and how to block people that are harassing them. Beyond that there is no "safest" IM service - all of the major services are public, and are equally likely to have prowlers or people soliciting adult services and the like.

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There is no such thing as a completely safe service. If you're lucky your guidance will have an impact, but the truth is, it's a jungle out there.

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+1 because this is the only sane answer to this question. As to all "how do i sanitise the internet" questions, the basic answer is put your efforts into teaching, not into policing, it wont work. –  Sirex Oct 12 '10 at 7:00
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Does Google Talk only allow you to chat with people you have added as a friend and they have confirmed?

Yes, that would be correct. To chat with someone on Gtalk, you would have to invite them ( or vice versa) and the invitation needs to be accepted from both parties

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If you want to filter out spam, you probably need an IM service with a high barrier to entry (e.g. it's not easy to get in). One of these is the Blackberry Messenger -- it requires an actual Blackberry device to be able to participate in the network and thus it's not cost-effective for spammers to use it.

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