Once you have made the decision to join a particular social networking website, you will need to need to register with the site. Even free networking communities require basic registration. Once you are registered, you should be able to start communicating with other community members. Before you start communicating, you may need to develop your online profile or profile page, depending on the networking site in question. Although it may seem easy enough to create a profile, there are many internet users who are unsure exactly what they should and should not include.

Perhaps, one of the most important things to include in your online website is your picture. While a personal picture is optional, it is ideal. Many internet users enjoy talking to someone that they can see in their minds, without a picture this is really difficult. If you are looking to use social networking websites just to meet new friends you may not necessarily need to post a private picture, but it is definitely preferred if you are looking for love. When it comes to internet dating, many individuals will not even view your profile if a picture is not included.

In addition to your photograph, you may want to include your name, but you are strongly advised against giving your full name, especially if your profile or profile page contains a personal photograph of you. In addition to your name, you may want to put down the location of a city you've always wanted to visit versus where you actually live. As with your name it is important to be mindful of "where you are," because posting your picture, address, and full name could be very dangerous, especially if it falls into the wrong hands.

Since anyone, literally anyone, can see your social networking profile, stop and think about the information you are giving out. Essentially, this means that instead of focusing on what you should put in your online profile, you should be focusing on what to exclude. As much as you would like to thoroughly complete your social networking profile with a lot of personal information, you are advised to think about your safety before anything else.

In lieu of your entire personal history, just include your hobbies, political, religious or environmental viewpoints; your likes, and your dislikes. With many social networking websites, including MySpace, you will find that there are preset profile fields for this information. In addition to preset questions or categories on your inclinations, you may also find additional information, including fun questionnaires.

Many social networking websites will ask that you describe your favorite color, your goals in life, your most embarrassing moment, and so forth. As with your other personal information, it is important to stay as vague as possible and not use any full names, especially real ones. Being vague is not being dishonest - it means you're being smart and careful until you know the time is right.

By keeping the above-mentioned points in mind, you should not only be able to create an online social networking profile that is filled with valuable information, but you can do so while staying safe at the same time.

Your safety on the internet is in your hands!