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Sadly most these tips and lessons were learned the hard way from friends, to family. Some learned in chat, some learned from books. If you have any tips not added, please feel free to email them in to help others you will be credited for your tip. Thank you.

This page is very old, but many find it useful so I have kept it for that reason.

I have come to see that no matter what you do, if you connect to the internet in anyway.. there are always ways for others to do damage. There is nothing out there that will stop someone who wants what you have. Or who wants to cause you harm. No one can stop everyone, from even lying. Example.. I know of 3 people who have lied about their sex. Pretending to be something, or someone they are not.

Also, anything you store on a computer can be lost. A hard drive can fail, and can also not be accessible. With all this in mind, think twice please. Before you become a victim.

1. Never use your real last name for strangers, email addresses, messenger names etc.

2. Never post your real home email address. By this I mean lets say your internet is AOL you wouldn't want to use that email address for anything online. Keep it private! (unless you enjoy spam) This includes posting your mailing address on Facebook for the whole world to see instead of just filling in the form. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed this.

3. If for some reason you have or want to give your real home address out, use a P.O. Box.

4. Get a free email account, example, Yahoo, hotmail, or Gmail.

5. Have a backup free email account no one knows of.

6. Never sign a guest book with your real home email address. (Once again unless you enjoy spam.)

7. When you sign up for AIM or ICQ use the backup free account. (Unless you WANT people to find your name.)

8. When people ask where your from give an about.

9. Remember that not everyone tells the truth on line.

10. Get yourself a firewall, a good one!

11. Get a virus protector and for God's sake people, update it.

12. Don't open Exe's, Pdf, Docs, or screen savers from strangers.

13. Don't open Exe's from friends till you update your virus protector again. (Unless not on windows.)

14. Never transfer Exe's on IRC.

15. Change the port you connect to AIM on.

16. Use a proxy to connect to AIM with.

17. Don't use birthdays, anniversaries as passwords.

18. Like Mulder said "Trust no one."

19. Never give out your passwords.

20. Check things out thoroughly before installing them.

21. Never tell anyone what you're running on your system.

22. Never brag! About anything, you're asking for it then.

23. Chain letters and Porn can cause your email accounts to be closed.

24. Don't give the name of your school to anyone if you're under 18.

25. If someone keeps making remarks like "can't wait till your 18" or something like that and often, keep an eye out.

26. If you call someone off the net and are in the states, use *67 on the phone before calling as it will block caller ID. USA only!

27. If you give someone your number but not last name or other way around you can still be traced... even if your number is unlisted.

28. Never give out your social security number. (Or use it as a password!)

29. Make sure the virus protector is turned on.

30. Anything labeled Joke.exe is a virus. Don't even bother opening it. Delete it right away.

31. Don't respond to unsolicited messages (even if it looks official) requesting your credit card info passwords or other personal info.

32. Consider using the RSACi ratings/parental Control feature to ensure you're viewing just what you want to view.

33. Don't use the same password for everything.

34. Make sure to change passwords often.

35. Make sure you recall your passwords LOL.

36. Make sure to set up a recovery email address of phone number and make sure you have access to those so you can request any passwords or regain access to your accounts of hacked.

37. Comet cursers are known as Spyware. They track your computers travels online and report back. There are many software's out there that do such a thing.

38. AIM has an ANTI-Idle option. So others can not tell when you are idle. If you do not mark it so people can not tell... then when you are away and come back and just move your mouse.. not type anything at all it lets others know you are no longer Idle. You may test that with a friend by putting an alert on them. And if you have spotted they tend to go idle a lot you will know as SOON as they are back.

39. Delete cookies, and history often.

40. Don't forward virus warnings and other things to all your contacts, they're usually hoaxes. Check first! (Thanks Scott)

41. Don't have a secret question that the answer is common place. IE 'what's your favorite pet's name?' Most likely if you have a webpage the answer is on it.

42. Remember family members know intimate details which enable them to hack you. So don't try to be funny using common things only THEY know.

43. Don't download anything which isn't from a reputable supplier.

44. Regularly check your machine for software which you don't recognize.

45. Install a Spyware blocker.

46. You wouldn't let your children have access to an adult TV channel, yet the internet contains much worse material (and I'm afraid most of it can be found for free!)

47. Read it, learn it well.

48. Set up Google Alerts which is free and a way to keep track of your information if posted online anywhere.

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