| Newsgroups, sometimes called bulletin boards or
forums, are places where you can read and post messages or download
or upload files. Unlike chatrooms, newsgroups are not live or “real
time.” If you post a message it remains on the newsgroup for people
to look at later. In newsgroups you can also post files including
computer programs, illustrations, pictures, and stories.
There are newsgroups on almost every possible subject. Normally
they are used as ways to get questions answered and share information
about hobbies, musical groups, or any other subject of interest.
Unfortunately, newsgroups, like other areas of the Internet, have
The biggest risk is in revealing information about yourself. Whenever
you post, in most cases, your words are available for anyone to
see, even if you are responding to a particular individual’s posting.
Remember the basic rules, and never reveal identifying information
And posting something usually makes your E-mail address available
to the public. Thus, even if you don’t say anything personal, your
address will be available for people who may send you “junk” or
Some newsgroups contain sexually explicit illustrations, photographs,
and stories. Some of this material may be illegal especially if
it contains images of people who are younger than the age of 18
or certain other material that has been defined as “obscene.” This
can be upsetting and uncomfortable to view. It should be avoided.