C Y B E R W O R L D
How could we live without the Internet? That's how most of us keep in touch with friends, find homework support, research a cool place to visit, or find out the latest news.
But besides the millions of sites to visit and things to do, the Internet offers lots of ways to waste time — and even get into trouble. And just as in the non-cyber world, some people you encounter online might try to take advantage of you — financially or physically.
You've probably heard stories about people who get into trouble in chat rooms. Because users can easily remain anonymous, chat rooms often attract people who are interested in more than just chatting. They'll sometimes ask visitors for information about themselves, their families, or where they live — information that shouldn't be given away.
Usually, the people who request personal information like home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses use this information to fill mailboxes and answering machines with advertisements. In some cases, though, predators may use this information to begin illegal or indecent relationships or to harm a person's or family's well-being.
Of course, the Internet is home to millions of places you can and should visit. Like an infinite library, the Web can take you to the ends of the earth with the information it contains.
You can use it to do research for school, find out what movie is playing near you (and whether people like it), check out a college you're thinking about, or find a job or volunteer opportunity. Almost anything you can think of has a website (or a thousand of them) about it. And it's not just websites — blogs, videos, and downloadable games await to connect you with other user and players.