Some dangers of online chatting include sharing personal information that may result in identity theft, compromising the security of the computer an engaging in inappropriate behavior. In the case of minors, online chatting also poses a safety risk for the child, as the child may unwillingly share information or meet with a predator.
Children are susceptible to a great deal of danger when engaging in online chatting because of the potential threat from predators, some of which may attempt to engage the child in sexually explicit conduct or cull personal information from them. Many children who chat online end up sharing personal information with the other participants, which can lead to the discovery of the child's address and subsequent crimes such as assault or thefts. In some cases, the children end up meeting the chat participants in person, which may also lead to an abduction. The child may also share pictures of himself in chat, compromising his identity or leading to additional illegal activities.
Adults are also at risk for sharing personal information through online chat, with the end result often focusing on accessing financial accounts or identity theft. Some adults may also visit websites through chatting that plant viruses on the computer, which in turn may allow third-party access to information on the computer or log keystrokes to online accounts.