- Web addresses that end in .gov are government web sites. Check out one of our government's websites at: www.4girls.gov
- Web addresses that end in .edu are websites that are connected with...you guessed it! -"educational institutions" like schools and colleges. Now you're getting the hang of it! Check out a college web site at: www.harvard.edu
- Web addresses that end in .org are usually, but not always connected with an organization. Check out www.youngwomenshealth.org. This is our web site! Pretty cool, huh?
- Web addresses that end in .com are connected with a commercial site or a company that is selling something. Check out www.nick.com, which is Nickelodeon's site. Bet it makes a little more sense now.
- Web sites that end in .gov are generally reliable because they are connected with our government.
- Look for the name of the organization and the author of the web site and when the information was updated. Reliable web sites often have a list of references or contacts where you can find out where the information originally came from.
- If you are looking for facts, check out a few different web sites to compare information. If you are in doubt, double check facts at the library. This way you will know which web sites give you correct information.
- Ask your teachers about reliable web sites to go to for homework help. Once you find a reliable web site, you can bookmark it so you can easily find it later.
- Ask your health care provider about web sites to go to for reliable health information. When you get a recommendation from a professional, it most likely will be a respected web site with reliable information.
- Reliable web sites usually have reliable links — so when you get lucky and find a great web site, you most likely will get to know other good sites too.
- Always ask your parents permission first, before you download IM or other software!
- Do not respond to IM's from people you don't know or IM's that look strange. It is possible to get unwanted IM's and similar to E-mails, IM's can contain viruses.
- Don't forget to sign off of Instant Messenger when you are finished- and change your password regularly. This will prevent others from using your IM account.
- If you receive an IM that makes you feel uncomfortable, do not respond to it. It's best to tell your parents about it too.
Before you enter a chat, be sure you have your parent's permission to do so!
Some chat rooms are considered to be safe because the topic that is being discussed is safe and because there is a moderator or chaperone who is leading the discussion. But just because a chat room has a neutral topic it doesn't guarantee that some people in the chats won't talk about other things that might make you feel uncomfortable.
- If you accidentally begin downloading something, push the "Stop" button at the top of your screen. This will stop the download from completing and will cancel the process.
- Make sure you have an updated version of virus protection software on your computer!
- Don't give out credit card information over the Internet. Believe it or not, it's really easy for someone to steal your money this way.
- Don't e-mail your photo or any information that identifies YOU.
- Never give clues about yourself, where you live, where you work, where you hang out with your friends, where you shop etc.
- Never, ever share your name, address, phone number, etc.