May 2002
SNN Reporters
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Internet safety, has it gone up or down?
By Nira Diamant, Tec-Voc High School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Internet is a big part of teen life. Teens like chatting on the internet with people from different places in the world as well as entering contests online that ask for your personal information.

Sometimes when it comes to chatting online with people we don't know we give too much personal information. A lot of teens ask why is it a big deal? It's a big deal when you don't know the person you are chatting with. How do you know if he/she isn't 60 pretending to be 16, or how do you know if the person you are chatting with isn't a male pretending to be a female or vice versa. These are questions you need to ask yourself before chatting online.

How many times have you gone on the internet for the purpose of looking up a specific topic and all of a sudden something comes up saying ‘If you fill this out you get $1000'. I've experienced that and I'm sure a lot of others have. That's a scam. Most of the time the people that create that are out there to get your personal information. Before filling the form you should check in to it. Search around before filling it out. It could be a scam but at the same time it could be real. It could be an advertisement or promotion for a company.

The internet is an expanding technology that keeps building and building everyday. As it builds up there are more chat rooms being developed and more scams wanting to get information from youth. It's better to play it safe, not to take risks thinking that nothing will happen to me, thinking that I can give all of the information I want because I might win money or I might get lucky chatting with someone and end up dating Him? Her.

Next time you go on the internet and go into chat rooms before you start chatting I want you to think am I giving too much information. Play it safe and smart, don't take unnecessary risks.

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