Who am I?
Who is this page for?
When I was your age, we did not have to worry about safe surfing. No one knew what surfing was, aside from those who lived by waves on the oceans. Of course, when I was your age and living in a modest sized city we rarely locked our house doors either!
But times have changed. Let me start by saying there are millions of very nice people you will meet on the internet, but it only takes one bad one to ruin your life. You do not have to live like an ostrich with your head in the sand, but by the same token if you act like a dodo bird you may be like the dodo bird; extinct!
What can someone in cyberspace do to you, you wonder? The range of things is incredible:
THAT is not worth a little carelessness on the net.
- send you porno pictures you do not want
- send you a virus
- crash your computer
- use your computer to send others spam or a virus so that YOU get in trouble
- get your personal info and pictures and post it where you do not want it
- order things on a credit card you used on line so you get the bill
- stalk you in RW (real world)
- kidnap you in RW
- physically hurt you in RW
- rape or torture you in RW
- kill you in RW
A few of the many things you can do to protect yourself:
NEVER give your real name, address, and mobile or home phone numbers to strangers or post it on sites
- never use a credit card without your parent or guardian knowing
- never reply to an email that asks for too much personal information
- never arrange to meet a stranger in RW unless you can verify their identity and have a responsible person go with you the first time
- never post pictures on sites where anyone can see them
- especially never post pictures of you doing anything illegal
I do not want to scare you off cyberspace, but I do not want to hear your name in the news as a victim of a cyber stalker either.
I recall when I lived in Poland, four or five years ago, some street side billboards by the tram stops. One showed an unpleasant looking middle-aged man sitting by a computer typing, 'Hi, my name is (a girl's name), I am 16 and would like to meet you.'
I am all for you being grown up and independent, but this may not be the time and place to be too independent. It would be a lot nicer to live to see the future. Please ask a responsible and knowledgeable person for help when you run into something questionable in cyberspace.