Don't trust anyone online

People are not always who they say they are

Be very wary of the people you meet online. Many of them are not who they say they are. Some people make use of techniques to trick innocent people (like you) into getting what they want. They may act like a stranger, eager to make new friends. Once they have built up a good enough relationship with you, they ask for personal details about you... and you, believing the person to be your friend, voluntarily gives away your personal and sensitive information (like the things discussed in the Never share personal details topic).

It is alright to meet new people online, but be careful of their "two-faced" nature. People may act like your new "online friend" but in reality they are only using you to gather enough information so that they can impersonate you in the future. If someone starts to taunt, threaten or speaks aggressively towards you, tell this to someone you trust so that they may take the necessary actions to report the person.

Be careful of winning "gifts" online

A trick that fools most Internet users, is when a website claims that "You are the 1 000 000th visitor to this site!" and that you have consequently won some prize. They then ask you to click on a link in order to claim your prize. NEVER believe any variation of this lie (there are many). Once you click on that link, various malware (like discussed in Protect your computer) are installed on your computer. Alternatively, the link may redirect you to a site where it will ask you for your physical address, email address, name and other personal details. This is also an attempt to discover your sensitive information, like your password.

Also be careful of websites or emails claiming that you have won a prize and you have to claim it before a certain amount of time. Why would you win a competition for which you didn't even enter? Never even respond to such emails, simply delete them. Similarly, ignore such "banners" when visiting websites.