Internet is a good thing in this modern age but do you realise how very vulnerable we are when we are online? Ever wonder how those junk mails gets into your mail box everyday about one of your relatives in UK or Africa has passed away leaving you a large sum of $$$ etc etc...

When online we are more vulnerable than we ever realize. Some people are too trusting and naive when it comes to personal information. Most share information that they would never give someone they met casually offline. Would you tell the person in the street your home address and phone number? Of course not, but it's no different than doing so in a chat room or forum , often unknowingly.

Many chat programs and Internet service providers ask us to fill out a profile about ourselves.

What most people don't know is that this information is frequently and easily available to anyone who wants to see it online. So if we fill out our profile with detailed information about our life, we are vulnerable to all the spams mails. Also, say you're chatting with someone and tell them your last name and which city you live in. All they have to do is search one of many databases available on the Net to locate more information about you. For example in the ever popular Friendster among youngsters, to search for somebody in the world wide web, we just need to type in your email under search and tata... we can see nearly everything about you unless you put your profile under for only for you and your assigned friends only.

Thus whenever we fill out any form online, check to see what the site's privacy policy is. Who will see our information? Will it be sold? If it's open to others' eyes, don't fill in the blanks. And if you've created your own website, try as far as possible not to feature any personally identifiable information.

There are abundant directories and databases online that list of addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Several directories now boast reverse look-ups with the ever powerful software!! This is where they can type in your email address and find out who you are, or do the same with your phone number and address.If they are good they can even find out who your neighbors are. You can try by searching for yourself under google by typing in your name or your online nickname. If you can find you, so can they.

Students like to chat hours online, be it MSN, YM or IRC. The safest place to chat is in a chat room with people you know offline. This may sound odd, but students do this a lot. They get home and get online with the people they just left at school. Otherwise use a genderless, non-provocative screen name

and remember that the moment you get into a chat room with people you don't know, be careful. Keep in mind, these are strangers you're talking to. They may sound friendly, but online anyone can be anything they want. You shouldn't share confidences with them any more than you would with a stranger sitting next to you on the bus. If you do,remember you're putting yourself at risk.


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    Helen said...

    Yeah, online chatting can be at times scary if you happen to be the parents. My friend's 13 yr old daughter had just started chatting online and even went to meet the boy in the mall.

    Lucky the boy is really a silly 15 yr old. God forbid he might turned out to be a 51 yr old.

  1. ... on 6:32 PM  
  2. X'tina said...

    Come to think of it , it is really scary what people can do these days, be it online or offline.

    Yup I agree with you that - if that "boy" turned up to be 51, that will be real trouble unless the girl have good emotional management.

    We just have to take extra precautions when doing anything online.

  3. ... on 8:03 PM