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Is It Safe To Write Letters?
Let's take a look at the safety issues involved in writing to strangers.

  • I'd like to write a letter to someone. How safe is it?

    Put simply, it is as safe as you make it. If you tell your new friend your real name, address and phone number in your first email, you are not playing it safe.

    Follow these guidelines to keep yourself safe from crime and exploitation on the Internet:

    • Don't give out your full name, home address or telephone number. You can tell them a fake name and let them know what country you live in, but other than that, do not give out personal information. If you do have to give your new friend your address, have your parents give it to them.
    • Never agree to meet your new friend in real life without your parents permission or knowledge. You may be going to meet someone who has lied to you and will hurt you.
    • Never eat something that your new friend has made and sent to you in the mail. Give the edible gift to your parents to check before eating it.
    • Always tell your parents when your new friend is being inappropriate and making you feel uncomfortable. You don't have to put up with harrassment.
    • Ask someone (preferably an adult) to surf the Net with you. Sharing the experience with a family member or friend can heighten the experience and create opportunities for you to surf to sites you never thought of looking at before.
    • Don't go into sex channels or pages. This just places you at greater risk for online abuse.
    • Don't reply to emails asking you to join inappropriate clubs, email lists or forums. These people sell your email address to others and you will find that your email box is soon filled with vulgar and unsolicited emails from other sources.
    • Tell your parents, adult friend or ISP if someone is harassing you with emails or messages on the Internet. ISP's usually do not put up with users abusing their connections and will take action against people who do so.
    • Don't give out a credit card number online or through email.
    • If you come across any material or individuals that make you feel uncomfortable tell an adult (preferably your parents) immediately.
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