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Teen Health

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Teen Internet Safety Tips

With a few Internet safety tips, your online experience can be amazing!

4. Be Good Online … Just Like You Are Offline

Writing “hate” emails, hacking into other people’s computers, illegally downloading music or movies and making online threats are just as illegal on the Internet as they are in the real world. You cannot hide behind a screen name and get away with it. Watch what you write -- because someone else is watching what you write!

5. Be Extremely Careful about Meeting Someone in Person

The FBI gives an all-out blanket warning: “Never meet anyone in person that you meet online.” That said, many teens do make good friends online. You just have to be super-cautious and make sure other people you know and trust also know this “new” online person.

If you do decide to meet the new person, bring your parents with you. All of you meet together in a public area like a mall where there are tons of people around. Ask that the person’s parents come, too. If the situation feels creepy, it probably is creepy! Just like in the real world, trust your gut instincts -- and walk away.

6. Your Parents Are Ultimately Responsible for Minors Online

Even if your parents don’t know much about the Internet, tell them what types of web sites you go to. They will probably be interested and impressed with your Internet skills. They may also help you avoid potential problems if a web site or new "friend" looks sketchy.

Some Extra Words of Caution

Almost Everything on the Internet Is Traceable

Every search, web site visit, online posting and email is registered or recorded somewhere on the Internet. Once you send something out on the Internet, it's almost impossible to take it back. You have to be careful -- not impulsive -- when you write email or go to chat rooms.

People Live in "Fantasyland" Online

Even though someone writes, “Hi, I’m a really cool 15-year-old guy from New York City,” in reality that guy may be a 60-year-old man or even your next-door neighbor. Use scrutiny and caution. 

Your Information Can Be Sold to Others

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