Have fun with your email. It's a wonderful way to let the persons you care about know you are thinking about them by writing or sending a birthday or holiday card. However, remember that the internet can be just as dangerous and as damaging as everyday living.
Don't answer strangers. If you do not know the sender of an email, just delete it but ask your parents first if this is alright. Try not to read what strangers send you. If the email sounds very important or urgent, let your parent or an adult read it. They'll be able to tell you what to do with it.
When you send an email, remember that the email is more like a postcard rather than a letter that you mail. Anyone who knows how, can read your email (an electronic postcard).
When your computer gets an infection (as every computer does at some time or other), it can effect not only your computer and your family but other computers that your computer communicates with. This is why it is important to have your anti-virus software program updated and working. Remember to save ALL email attachments to a file and run through your anti-virus software before opening. If your friend sent you an email attachment, call or write them a separate email and ask them if they did send you the attachment. If they did not send you the attachment, tell them that they probably have a computer infection and should use their anti-virus software to remove the infection. You can keep a list of infectious email attachments near the family computer and refer to it when you receive an attachment from a friend. If the name of the attachment is on the list, delete it. If the name of the attachment is not on this list, then follow the directions in this paragraph.
When you get an email with no attachment and nothing written in the letter, delete it immediately. Chances are that the email itself is an infector, even if you know the sender. You can write the sender a separate email and ask them what they wanted to say. If they say they did not send you a blank email, tell them to use their anti-virus software to be sure their computer is no longer infected.
Don't click on a link in an email that you did not give your permission to receive and can not identify the sender.
The best thing to do when you receive an email hoax is to delete it. Don't send it to anyone because all hoaxes do is make too much traffic on servers.
Be sure that your email settings contain the following: If you are unsure, ask your parents or an adult how to change your settings.
Do not automatically display unread messages.
Do not automatically open attachments or picture attachments.
Remember that spammers try to send advertisements to every email address they can find, especially of large internet service providers (examples: YourUserName@MSN.com, YourUserName@AOL.com, YourUserName@WebTV.com. These advertisements can contain bad pictures and words that your parents feel you are not yet old enough to see and read. They can also be bad because they will try to get money from you or your parents for something they have no intention of giving you after you pay. But, there are also many people who send unsolicited email who will give you what you paid for. If you did not request the email but can identify the real sender (like Aunt Mary or a store you bought something from), this is not spam. Spam is when you did not ask or agree to receive the email AND the sender of an email tries to hide or disguise their true identity from you, the receiver. So, to keep safe, a good rule would be (if your parents agree): if you do not know the sender of an email or did not sign-up to get email from the sender, just delete the email.