www.whyville.net Oct 24, 2002 Weekly Issue

Stay Safe

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Stay Safe!

Guest Writer

Hey all! Aquagerl here, hoping this will get published as I feel this is a very important topic that many are overlooking!

I've only been on Whyville a month and I've noticed that a lot of people don't take the internet seriously, myself included! I mean, I'll be talking to somebody and suddenly I find myself telling them where I live and what school I go to! Now, this may not seem serious to a lot of you but I'm here to tell you that it is. The internet is NOT and will never be a TOY! Don't give out personal information about yourself, it's dangerous.

Yes, Whyville officials do warn us not to use our real names as passwords and not to tell anyone our password (don't get me wrong, I'm glad they do tell us that), but I feel that there are worse things that could happen to you than losing your Whyville account. I don't mean to scare anyone, but there have been people who just gave out too much personal information (on ANY site) and were stalked in real life, and in some cases, assaulted. This is REAL! I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP!

Watch what you say and don't tolerate people who may seem a little TOO nosy or a little TOO interested in your personal life/location. Remember: you do have the power to warn, silence, or vaporize anyone who may be making you feel uncomfortable. "Uncomfortable" as in asking too many questions. To avoid giving out too much information about yourself, just follow these simple steps:

  1. NEVER give out specific locations such as street names, areas, schools, or perhaps even the city you live in. Stick with the state and maybe a major city nearby.
  2. NEVER give out your real name, especially your last name.
  3. NEVER tell someone your specific schedule-this way people will know where you're going to be, when, and whether you will be alone or not.
  4. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY. Don't give out physical descriptions, phone numbers, or other personal information. THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE!

Now, again, I'm not trying to scare anyone. I'm just trying to tell you the truth. There are all kinds of people out there and not all of them are good. Whyville officials can't and don't do background checks on everyone that registers, which means you could be talking to anyone. That person you are chatting to right now could say they live in another country when in fact they may live down the street from you. That's the danger of the internet.

Please follow the above steps and BE CAREFUL! People aren't always as they seem!




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