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Each month we provide you with tips, suggestions
and ideas on how to make your Internet experience more enjoyable and
safer for your family and your computer.
FEBRUARY 2008 - SURFING TIPS FOR TEENS
Could teens exist without the Internet?
Of course, the
Internet is home to millions of places you can and should visit.
Like an infinite library, the Web can take you to the ends of the
earth with the information it contains. You can use it to do
research for school, find out what movie is playing near you (and
whether people like it), check out a
you're thinking about, or find a job or volunteer opportunity.
Almost anything you can think of has a website (or a thousand of
them) about it. And it's not just websites — blogs, videos, and
downloadable games await to connect you with other user and players.
Most credible people and companies will never ask for this type of information online. So if someone does, it's a red flag that they may be up to no good. Think carefully before you create an email address or screen name. Web experts recommend that you use a combination of letters and numbers in both... and don't identify whether you're male or female.
In chat rooms, use a nickname that's different from your screen name. That way, if you ever find yourself in a conversation that makes you uncomfortable, you can exit without having to worry that someone knows your screen name and can track you down via email. Some people who hang out with their friends online set up private chat rooms where only they and the people they invite can enter to chat.
Experts recommend that people keep online friendships in the virtual world. Meeting online friends face to face carries more risks than other types of friendships because it's so easy for people to pretend to be something they're not when you can't see them or talk in person. If you ever get involved in a chat room conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable or in danger for any reason, exit and tell a parent.
Fortunately, most people never experience cyberbullying. But if you're getting cyberbullied and ignoring it doesn't make it go away, getting help from a parent, school counselor, or another trusted adult may be a good idea. That's especially true if the cyberbullying contains threats.
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