Experienced cybertravelers carry a little "travel insurance" when they enter Cyberspace. Here are some tips from the experts:
Information courtesy the US Federal Trade Commission
- Don't give out your account password to anyone, even someone claiming to be from your online service. Your account can be hijacked, and you can find unexpected charges on your bill.
- People aren't always who they seem to be in Cyberspace. Be careful about giving out your credit card number. The same applies to your Social Security number, phone number and home address.
- Be aware that when you enter a chat room, others can know you are there and can even email you once you start chatting. To remain anonymous, you may want to use a nickname for your screen name.
- Email is relatively private - but not completely. Don't put anything into an electronic message that you wouldn't want to see posted on a neighborhood bulletin board.
- Check your online service for ways to reduce unsolicited commercial email. Learn to recognize junk email, and delete it. Don't even read it first. Never download an email attachment from an unknown source. Opening a file could expose your system to a virus.
- You can be defrauded online. If an offer is too hard to believe, don't believe it.
- Credit rights and other consumer protection laws apply to Internet transactions. If you have a problem, tell a law enforcement agency.
- Teach your children to check with you before giving out personal - or family - information and to look for privacy policies when they enter a website that asks for information about them. Many kids' sites now insist on a parent's approval before they gather information from a child. Still, some openly admit they will use the information any way they please.
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