Tips Before Starting

Here are a couple last-minute items to look at before diving into this process.
  1. Search Engines
    Search engines are useful tools for finding things online. They are not all created equal. IMHO (In my humble opinion) the worst engine is "ask jeeves" because it almost never finds you what you're looking for. My favorite is Google because it works well for me. When you search for something online, NEVER type in a random website. For example, let's say you want to do a story about cats. Would you type in "" to find info? You'd be surprized what comes up when you enter that address. Always use a search engine to find your information.

  2. Narrowing searches
    Suppose you're doing that report on cats for school. You go to Google and type "cats" into the search area. How many pages do you get? About 29 million. To get a smaller number of sites that are more specific, you need to narrow your search. You do this by adding keywords. Perhaps you want to learn about grooming cats. You can type "cat grooming" into the bar. A little better, you get about a million sites. By adding more words, we can narrow the search more. It gets more specific with every word you add. If you add "hairballs" onto this, you are down to under 16,000 sites. The more keywords you add, the more specific your search becomes. Be sure you narrow your searches when looking for something.

  3. Privacy
    Never, EVER, give out your personal information if at all possible. This includes name, age, location, or anything related to finances. If you order items online, make sure that the site is secure. One of the ways you can tell is that instead of an .html ending, it has .shtml. (The s is for secure.) Never give out personal information in an e-mail, even if you know the person receiving the e-mail. They are easily hacked. Don't give out your e-mail or messenger address to strangers. While this list sounds paranoid, it is very important for your health, safety, and financial security. ALSO, don't forward e-mails to large groups of people. This is one way you get on mailing lists. When in doubt, don't.

  4. Chatting
    If you choose to chat online, be warned that nothing may be as it seems. There is nothing to guarantee that people are telling the truth about themselves. That girl scout that claims to be eleven next month may be a man of fifty. Chatting can be fun, but never, ever tell personal information about yourself. Never meet with someone you met in a chat room. Never give out your location, or any information that would tell people where to find you. If someone in a chat room insists on meeting with you, or if the person behaves inappropriately, stop talking to the person and tell a trusted adult immediately. Do not ever chat at school.

  5. Porn - what to do
    Once in a while, you will be looking for something online, click on a link, and something inappropriate will pop up. If a single window pops up, hit the "back" button and then tell the instructor immediately. If multiple windows pop up, or if you are prevented from going back, turn the computer off immediately (by the switch) and tell the instructor. What may be happening is that a virus may be filling your computer files with inappropriate materials. Shutting the computer off may halt its progress, and then the computer can be cleaned of porn.

    Underneath this paragraph you'll see a checkbox. This signifies that it's time to check your understanding. Most of the time these are just a reminder to review, but by clicking on this checkbox image, you will receive a quiz. Passing this quiz will send you on to the next level. You are now ready for the first quiz.

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