FOLLOW THE SAME COMMON-SENSE RULES THAT YOU FOLLOW IN "REAL LIFE."
DO NOT GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION TO STRANGERS. Never tell your computer passwords to anyone who asks for them in a chat room or by instant message. Think very carefully before giving out your real name, address, telephone number, work place, or any other bit of information that someone with evil thoughts could use to hurt you.
NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. If you are registering for a service that has a legitimate need for your Social Security number, provide the information through traditional mail.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE DOING BUSINESS WITH. Check out who you do business with on the internet, just as you would if you were trying to get your lawn mower repaired, looking for someone to do your taxes, etc.
BE VERY SELECTIVE WHO YOU GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER TO. Some web sites have set up systems for conducting secure credit card transactions by encrypting your information when you order merchandise. They are PROBABLY safer than sites without similar programs. Remember rule 4.
DO NOT DOWNLOAD FILE ATTACHMENTS FROM PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW. This applies both to other web sites and e-mail. Most computer viruses come in the form of executable files.
THINK BEFORE YOU POST YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS. Otherwise your computer may end up being a dumping ground for junk-mail. If you have already become an e-mail junk-mail victim, try contacting your service provider to change your e-mail name and leave no forwarding address. If this is unsuccessful, you may need to change your service provider. Then, let only those you wish to communicate with know your new internet address