Protecting Yourself

As with e-mail, blogs, discussion boards, or any other online communication, the first step to staying safe online with IM is to take the time to think about who you’re communicating with and what information or images you are putting out there or opening yourself up to receive. Specifically, use these tips to become a safer IM user:

  • Think about what you pick as a screen name and consider keeping it neutral. Don’t give away personal information. Susie14smallville tells too much; pick something that doesn’t help somebody identify or locate you.

  • Consider who you want to communicate with via IM. Some people only want to communicate with close friends and family, and others use the service more openly. Decide what you are comfortable ...

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