The Internet is a wonderful place to meet and interact with people. Many have found genuine friends online, and some have even found true love!
But it can also be a difficult and sometimes an extremely dangerous place. You may come across people who intend to hurt you in some way. That might mean cyberbullying, scams, or even dangerous predators.
But you shouldn't let those risks stop you from experiencing the good side of the Internet; you just need to take a few precautions.
Keep private information private
It's very important not to give anyone personal details about yourself. That means your real name, your address, your work or school address, your phone number, face, and anything else that might help someone identify you offline.
Don't believe everyone
Always keep in mind that the person you are talking to might not be who they say they are. That doesn't mean you have to think that everyone is lying, but don't let your belief in someone stop you from taking sensible precautions like keeping your private information to yourself.
Speak up if you are worried
If someone is making you uncomfortable, or asking you to do or say things you don't want to, then pass that on to someone safe. If you feel you are at immediate risk, then call 911 or your local equivalent. You can also talk to Fandom staff about what's happening, or you can talk to someone you trust offline, such as a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
You can be in control of your online life. No one can make you have a conversation or online experience that you don't want to. You can ban people on chat if you are a chat moderator or block them from a wiki if you are an administrator. You can ignore (as well as block) PMs or message wall posts, refuse to be affected by mean posts, and take control and refuse to be pulled into negative situations.
One of the important skills to learn online is the power to ignore. Nasty comments are intended to hurt, and the sender wants to know you are hurt, so if you ignore the comment and refuse to react to it in any way, you are going to be doing exactly what the bully doesn't want. That's a powerful response.
Of course, for this to work you need to also learn to let insults go by without hurting you. Remember, you are strong and you can choose to ignore those insults. They are just about someone trying to make you feel bad. Don't let them!