You've heard them a thousand times, Internet Safety Rules. Are you following them?
If you have an online boyfriend or girlfriend, and are under the age of 13 - then no, you are not.
If you are using suggestive nicknames in chat rooms like "hotbabe" and "DaringDude" - no, you are not being safe.
There is no way to be 100% sure the person you are talking to on the other side of your screen is who they say they are.
It's a fact, there are sick people out there just looking to find young people like you to get to know better. If you are hopping around chat rooms advertising you are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend you are asking for trouble.
Pedophiles are always on the lookout for vulnerable young children. They don't care if you are male or female. You are making yourself a target by advertising you are looking to meet someone.
They are extremely good at pretending to be who you want them to be. No matter how well you get to know, or think you get to know the other person, there is always the possibility they are not who they say they are.
Be smart. Do not make yourself a target. Do not advertise you are seeking someone online. Use appropriate nicknames. Do not send your picture to people you do not know and always follow common sense internet safety.
I strongly encourage kids to communicate online. We can learn so much about the world, other cultures, share experiences and make friends. However, we need to do so carefully.
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