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In Internet spaces where interaction occurs: forums, IM, chat rooms, etc., there are people looking to exploit others. Don't ever give out your personal information to anyone you don't know, and this means knowing them by having already met them in person *before* communicating with them online. You can stop the potential for exploitation by not giving out any private information (this includes: your email address, your real name, where you live, your phone number, and even such innocent information as what baseball team you play for or what store you buy CDs from). If you are asked for any of this information, simply say "I don't feel comfortable giving that out."
If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, end the interaction and ignore them if they persist in trying to contact you. If they won't stop: if you are a teen, report them to your parents; if you are an adult, report them to the police. Law enforcement takes Internet harassment, stalking, and exploitation very seriously and will take action. If you feel that another member is being pushy or putting you in an uncomfortable situation (such as pressing you into an email exchange or IM session), please let us know.
A good guide to Internet safety can be found in the publication: "Teen Safety on the Information Highway," published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. You can read it at www.safeteens.com.