Keeping yourself Safe Online
There are lots of sites around that allow you to talk to other people on the web. Chat rooms allow users to have a conversation with each other and get instant replies. Online message boards and forums let people post questions or comments and ask other users to give their opinion in their own time.
When you’re using a chat room or posting on a message board, NEVER GIVE OUT ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION LIKE YOUR ADDRESS OR YOUR PHONE NUMBER. You should always use a nickname, so no-one can look you up in a telephone directory and get your home phone number.
You should NEVER ARRANGE TO MEET UP WITH SOMEONE THAT YOU’VE BEEN CHATTING TO ONLINE. Remember that you can never be sure that they’re telling the truth about their age or their interests and you could be putting yourself in danger.
No matter how long you’ve been chatting, remember that they’re still STRANGERS; you don’t really know them at all.
Social networks are a great way of keeping in touch but you should think carefully before adding someone to your list of online friends or posting a blog entry that could get you into trouble at school or at home.
Simple guildlines for using these kinds of sites include:
- • Never post anything you wouldn’t want your parents, family or teachers to see.
- • You can never be sure that other users are being truthful about their online identities, so be careful about what information you give out.
- • Think carefully about the pictures you upload. You should also avoid uploading pictures that identify the school that you attend since this could help someone locate you.
- • Do not post a phone number, email address or Instant Messaging PINs on your homepage.
- • Adjust account settings so that only approved friends can send instant messages.
- • Avoid giving too much information in a blog, particularly contact details, parties etc.
Some websites will require users to fill out a registration form before they can be used. All companies that collect information have to tell their customers how it will be used. Make sure you check the websites Terms and Conditions to learn more.