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Going online is great fun - you can look up information for your school project, get some great hints for your favourite video game, or even just surf and find new things that interest you. Another great thing about the 'net is the fact that it is realtime. You can chat with new people, and make new friends instantly. But, when going on a chat line or service, be cautious! Though most are good, there are some people who have bad intentions. These people will use phony names and information to try to trick you to give out yours. Here are a few tips that you should excercise at all times, just to make sure you keep safe online:

1. Giving out your first name is okay. There are probably millions of people with your name online, but last names may allow someone to track you down, and giving these out is a bad idea!

2. It's not generally a good idea to tell anyone more than the state or province in which you live. If your parents approve, you can give out your city name, but be careful and catious.

3. Don't ask anyone else for information that would possibly make them feel uncomfortable, or they may become suspicious of you.

4. To avoid unexpected coincidences, don't give out phony information about yourself. If you don't want to tell anyone your name, for example, change the subject, or let them know this rather than making up a name.

5. All of these tips can be modified or eliminated by your parents. It is up to them to decide what is appropriate and what is not for you, and you should make sure that everything you do online is okay with them.



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