I realize that this is probably not needed but to be on the safe side I thought it really wouldn't hurt to add some simple tips here for you to go through.
The internet is a great place to be but it can also pose some dangers as well. By following these simple tips you will help protect yourself from them.
If, by chance, you think because you are an adult that you don't need this information, then think again. If you think you are smarter than this and know what you are doing..... then think again. If you think that no one can con you or pull the wool over your eyes.... then get off the net because you are in for a rude awakening!
Now.... please read below :-))
NEVER put your full name on your email. First name is fine but NEVER your last name.
If you use a chat program or have a website it is a good idea to create a secondary email either at yahoo or hotmail, etc. Use this email to receive emails from chat partners and website guestbooks you may sign. Don't give out your isp email. It isn't necessary with all the other email programs available out there. Keep your isp email for family and real life friends and such. You'll get less junk mail in it that way as well :-)
Also take the time to learn how to use email properly. Using the bcc at all times when you are sending multiple emails. How to make an "undisclosed recipient' email addy. Also how to use the 'block email' on your email program. You may need it one day. Learn how to send problem emails too if you have a complaint to lodge about someone sending nasty email to you (all about full headers and such).
2.) GENERAL INFO...
NEVER give out your home address. I don't care! lol Never give it out. If you get to know someone and wish to exchange letters or gifts or whatever, get yourself a post office box at your nearest postal station. They are relatively inexpensive and worth the time and effort. This also has a secondary benefit. If you are signing up for something on the net you can use that addy instead of your real home address if they insist on a home address for you. No junk mail coming to your home that way. We all get enough of that as it is. Does this sound too expensive to you? Well it isn't. They are inexpensive and if you still hesitate get a friend you know close by to go in on one with you. I'm sure you know someone who wouldn't mind a mail box for junk mail etc.
Since we are on the home address issue, also never say something like "oh, I live just a block away from such and such". May as well give out your address at that point. Unless of course you are in a very congested area... An example is for me to say I am right in the middle of the downtown core of my city is not saying much considering I live in a city of 4 million and the downtown core is very congested. Couldn't even begin to tell you how many streets are in a 10 block radius or how many hundreds of apt buildings and thousands of houses are within those.
Profiles (and briefcases) on yahoo, msn, excite, whatever are great. But... if you put a naked pic of yourself or something very suggestive do not complain about the type of email you receive. Expect it.
PICS IN CLUBS.... Pics of yourself in clubs are a somewhat safer bet but still not always. People do and will click on them and save them. There is a lot less access to them (only members see them). If you post suggestive pics do expect you may get a response or two to them.
4.) PHONE NUMBER!!
Oh please.... don't do it. Not unless you are willing to possibly put up with harrassing calls or putting out the money to have a number put on 'call block' by your phone company. Think about this one long and hard before you do it because the person you give it to can always give it to a dozen other people!
5.) REALITY CHECK!!!
Listen... as harse as it may sound, this is the internet. NOT REAL LIFE. That person you talk to every day may sound like the best thing since sliced bread but you are hearing only what they want you to hear. Let me put it another way...... how much do you know about your next door neighbour??? Now, you are going to trust someone you have never seen? oh.. and another thing, those pics you got from them. Just because he/she looks like someone you would take home to meet mom, doesn't mean it is actually a pic of them! I don't care how natural a setting or pose. I don't care if it looks like their entire family in that pic. They could have gotten them from anywhere on the net. Could have been from someone's homepage website! Think about it! Not everyone is as honest as you would like them to be. Don't project your feelings about them onto them. You can be very wrong.
Take everything with a grain of salt. Make that a mountain to be on the safe side. The internet is for entertainment purposes, not real life.
NEVER invite someone from the net to your home! If you absolutely insist on taking that kind of step and meeting someone then meet them in a very public place like a crowded restaurant or mall. And make it one a distance from your home as well. And do yourself a big favour and tell someone about it as well. It is not paranoia, it is simple safety.
Now, you can do as you wish with the above information. You can listen to it and heed it or you can file it under 'g' for garbage. I just thought it wasn't a bad idea to lay it out there for you.
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