The goal of gURL is to expose yourself to new ideas and people without letting anyone take advantage of you. Here are some guidelines to follow–on gURL.com as well as other sites around the Internet–to keep your online experience safe and fun. Remember: You’re usually okay if you take the same precautions online as you do in your daily life.
1. Do not give out personal information (real name, address, phone number, school location) to people you don’t know, whether in message boards, personal blogs or Twitter.
2. Don’t believe everything that people tell you (or that you read) online. You have no way of knowing if someone is lying or telling the truth online. Be skeptical — even if someone does provide proof (e.g. a photo with their name on it).
3. Never meet face-to-face with someone you met online, except in a public place with other people present. Bring someone with you and let an adult know what you’re doing.
4. Do not tolerate harassment. If someone online is harassing you, ignore or report them. Keep an eye on anyone or anything that is making you uncomfortable (inappropriate nicknames, for example), and do your best to stay away.
On email, Facebook, Formspring, etc.: If someone harasses, do not respond. You (or your parents) can contact the police or the Internet service provider of the harasser to register a complaint. If you use a mail program with filters (i.e. Gmail), you can set up your filters to watch out for the person’s email address and send those messages directly to the trash.