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However you might want to think about protecting yourself when using the internet and networking sites.
 
     
Networking sites can be great fun for communicating and keeping in touch with friends. It can be a lot of fun to put up photos, have quizzes about yourself, share your likes and dislikes, and communicate with friends. 
However you might want to think about protecting yourself when using the internet and networking sites.  It can be upsetting when someone posts information that is untrue or when there is a photo posted that was posted with out permission.  It might help to think things through and talk to someone before you post photos and information about yourself.
 
     
 
One thing you might want to get careful about is how much information you post about yourself.
 
     
While social networking sites can be kept only to people that are in your network, the internet is not always private and you might want to talk things through with a parent or someone you trust before you sign up for an account.  One thing you might want to get careful about is how much information you post about yourself.
 
  • Be careful not to give out your name, address, phone number, school name or password to people online – you may not always know who you are chatting to.
  • Regardless of whether your parents are new to the internet or use it everyday, there are probably things you know about the Internet that they don’t. This is a great opportunity for you to show them what you do online and, perhaps, help them get more out of the Internet themselves.
  • Be as anonymous as possible. Avoid postings that could let a stranger to locate you. That includes your last name, the name of your school, sports teams, the town you live in, and where you hang out.
  • Protect your info. Check to see if your service has a “friends” list that allows you to control who can visit your profile or blog. If so, allow only people you know and trust. If you don’t use privacy features, anyone can see your info, including people with bad intentions.
  • Avoid in-person meetings. Don’t get together with someone you “meet” in a profile or blog unless you are certain of their actual identity. Although it’s still not risk-free, if you do meet the person, arrange the meeting in a public place and bring some friends along.
  • Photos: Think before posting. What’s uploaded to the Net can be downloaded by anyone and passed around or posted online pretty much forever. Before uploading a photo, think about how you’d feel if it were seen by a parent/grandparent or future employer.
  • Check comments regularly. If you allow them on your profile or blog, check them often. Don’t respond to mean or embarrassing comments. Delete them and, if possible, block offensive people from commenting further.
  • Be honest about your age. Membership rules are there to protect people. If you are too young to sign up, do not attempt to lie about your age. Talk with your parents about alternative sites that may be appropriate for you.