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If you've got any screenshots or can otherwise clear anything up, Al would love to hear about it! She's trying to keep this page as up-to-date as possible. Check out our Questions section to see what we're unsure of or what doesn't really fit anywhere else. neoMail her at alatyr13 if you can help. Thanks!

Learn the Rules!

It may surprise you to know, dear friend, that Neopets has Rules. Yes, indeed. And it is very important that you know these Rules. So I, Eldrakkyn, shall lay out for you the general movement and workings of Neopets, so that you, guest, may navigate this entire site.

Onward! There are many other pages that will give you advice and tips on playing Neopets. And so, attempting not to be redundant, I shall speak on the overall rules of game play.


To find information about a specific topic or rule, try using Ctrl + f (Command + f on Macs) and type in a word related to the information you want.



Warning about Plagiarism



No one has my permission to copy this page or any of my other pages. I have not and I never will allow anyone to reproduce my pages.

Have you read the Terms & Conditions, #5? Using "materials created by someone else without their express written permission" is not allowed. This is material I created; no one has my express written permission; and no one will ever get that. And yes, I can prove that I created this page.

If you see anyone copying my pages, please neomail me on Alatyr13 and tell me. I'm a writer in real life; I take copyright infringement very seriously.


Still want to know more about me? Read my FAQ.


General Advice

Neopets is an online game and community enjoyed by people from the world over.

Note the two main points of that sentence: (1) Neopets is only a game and (2) it's played by actual people.

Those two points may seem very self-obvious. But far too many people post about mental breakdowns caused by not getting the pixels they wanted, and many others think nothing of behaving abominably and shamefully toward their fellow Neopians. Neither of those is a healthy attitude for you to have.

So while yes, Neopets is a game, it is primarily an individual game; you do not get ahead by destroying other players. There's no other place in the world where you can actually pull yourself ahead entirely by your own efforts.

Through your own hard work and determination, you can actually have everything in Neopia that you want, without having to rely on a government handout or an advanced degree. This place is a golden opportunity, just waiting for you to seize it!

Other users are people, too. You may only know them through their avatars, but behind those pixels is a real, live human being sitting at a computer somewhere else in the world. Treat them as you would any person you came into contact with in the real world, and the world of Neopia will be a much better place.

Neopets doesn't exactly translate our real world interactions. Our thoughts and actions may not come out as we intend them, and neither will the thoughts and actions of others. Be especially careful to treat others as you would want them to treat you.

The Rules

Neopets has some general Rules and guidelines. And simply by creating an account, you've agreed that you'll follow those Rules. You've also agreed that if you don't, Neopets has every right to take away your account (commonly called "freezing" an account).

You've agreed to those Rules and Terms and Conditions--you might as well read them. You're responsible for what's written there.

Neopets has linked to the Rules on nearly every single page. They even wrote several versions and an FAQ. (I think that's a hint that they want you to read them.)

You agreed to these when you signed up.
Same thing -- but the legal version.
(Yes, clicking that little box is a legally-binding action.)
FAQs about the T&C.
Based on the T&C, these apply specifically to the Boards.
A list of ways that people try to break the Rules.
Read these to learn what to protect yourself against.
Site FAQs, including many Rules-type questions.
Answers from the Staff to questions we ask every week. This link is actually to a petpage archive of the questions.

The Rules

Now, most of the Chat Rules for the Message Boards are rather self-explanatory--watch your language, don't cheat, talk about Neopets' related things only. Not too difficult. And yet most people manage to find the strangest questions and possibilities, to either further define a rule or to try to find a way around one. So then, using my own wits and the wisdom of others in Neopia, let us begin to uncomplicate the simplicity.

Rule #1 and #2

Neopets is a family-oriented site. That means that people of all ages, from children up through grandparents, play on the site. All material on the site should reflect that spectrum and should not be offensive to anyone. Neopets is an online game; it's not a place for finding "love" or temporary diversion of that sort, or for discussing such matters. This includes both online and offline situations--Neopets is not "The Love Connection." And the whole dating, etc., applies to Neopets, as well. Your pets do not need boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wives, or children (Baby is only a color!). Trying to get around the filters that block this sort of of behavior will still get you in trouble; all it takes is for one human brain to get a look at it, and down you go. There are countless other sites that will let you post material like that; go there if that's what you want to do. Neopets will not tolerate it.

Rule #3

Pretending that you--or your uncle, or your mom, or your sister's boyfriend's cousin's roommate's nephew--work for Neopets is pathetic. No one is going to believe you, and The Neopets Team themselves do not like having their name used without their consent. Prepare to lose your right to play if you impersonate the Staff. This also means, of course, that if someone is threatening your account, saying that they can get you frozen if you don't do what they say, that they're lying through their teeth. Staff would never do that (and if they did, they wouldn't remain on staff for very long); not even they can abuse the system.

A note here: I've had many players accuse me of trying to impersonate Staff just because I quote the Rules to them. Knowing the Rules and Terms & Conditions of the site has never made me Staff, nor have I ever thought that I am. I am merely a player who is literate and intelligent enough to read anything I sign up for. I realize that you may not be like me, and so I'm only trying to help you, but I have a very small tolerance for smug self-righteousness wrapped in chat speak and have no problem informing the monitors and letting them mete out any consequences.

Rule #4

If you're going to be leaving Neopets for an extended period of time (no idea why you would want to do that, but anyway...), either put your pets in the NeoLodge or just leave them alone. Neopets never, ever, ever die--not from being hungry or sick or anything at all. Never. So they'll be fine if you leave them. And this information negates the petsitting scam. And it is a scam, because once someone gets your p/w, it's good-bye account. They'll change the word, change the e-mail address, and clean out your account (and possibly get it frozen, as well). So you come back from vacation and find nothing left.

This also applies to people asking for petsitting for their own account. That, too, is a scam because they will ask for your p/w to make sure you're a "trustworthy" person. Trustworthy you may very well be, but don't be gullible.

Rule #5 and #6

Accounts and Neopets cannot be bought and sold. If you're leaving for good, simply remove your account (self-freeze) or just never log in again. Put your pets in the Pound; someone else will adopt them. Because adoption cannot be guaranteed, selling pets is not allowed (besides the fact that we are not mere petpets, to be tossed around at whim; we have feelings, you know). You also cannot charge someone if you create a Guild, user, or pet lookup or page; the space you're using belongs to Neopets, so you have no legal right to charge. You absolutely cannot use Neopets to buy, sell, or trade for any other online game--not only will Neopets freeze your account here, but they might also tell the other site and you'll lose that account, as well.

Now about sharing accounts--if you give someone access to your account, and they steal your virtual currency and pixels or do something that gets you frozen, that's your own fault. I don't even let my family members have access to my account for daily rounds when I'm out of town; there's too much chance of something going wrong. Don't share your account if you value it at all.

Rule #7 and #8

Neopets is an online game, played with pixels and with no way to "win." That said, why would you even want to trick people out of their accounts? It's not real, anyway (erm, well, you know what I mean). Trying to trick people out of their accounts in any way, shape, or form is just pathetic--you would stoop so low for a few more ethereal pixels? And going to the trouble to create fake log-in pages or cookie-grabbing sites--get a real hobby. No one is impressed. There is absolutely no reason why you need someone's p/w to do something for them; anyone claiming they need it to "help" you is just lying.

Rule #9

Repeat after me: there are no cheats for Neopets. None, zilch, zip, nada. Should there be an exploitable glitch, Neopets will find it, fix it, and freeze anyone who used it. Pretending to know cheats is another fine way to get your account on ice; Neopets knows there are no cheats and they won't let you get away with lying. The only way to get lots of Neopets and items and trophies and cool pets is to work hard for them, just like everyone else. Even things that don't seem "so bad," like bribing people to vote for your pet in the Beauty Contest or advertising your entry on the wrong Board, is a cheat; draw well, advertise fairly, and take what comes.

Those game codes that the Wheel of Knowledge gives out--please don't call them cheats. They aren't. Calling them that is likely to get you reported (or just flat frozen by a monitor who zeroes in on that "bad" word), especially if you try to be mysterious and pawn them off as real exploitation.

Rule #10

Don't promote other sites while you're on Neopets. Ever wonder why outside links are blocked? Because this is not the place for advertising for anything else (especially not anything that has paid ads on it). Neopets is Neopets. There are lots of off-site Help sites for Neopets, but people can find them on Google or Yahoo searches; they don't need to be advertised here. That's not to say you can't tell people that a certain Help site has the information they need, just that you don't need to be aggressively promoting it while you're here. If it answers a question, great; if not, don't bother. Especially don't advertise for anything that isn't Neopets' related or for anything that would break Neopets' Rules (even if it won't be done on Neopets).

Rule #11

Neopets is a fun site, but it's not a place just to hang out and chat because you're bored or to recruit people to hang out and chat because you're bored. There are other sites on the Internet that are meant for that. Neopets is a Game; when you're here, you should be playing the Game. So what's a "party board"? Anything that encourages massive amounts of posts for no reason whatsoever. Some blatantly name themselves one; others are more subtle, saying "Let's get the most posts!" (topics are wiped after 500 posts), "Come chat, I'm bored," or "Anyone have messaging/e-mail? Wanna chat?" Error, wrong answer.

Rule #12 and #13

Neopets is Neopets is Neopets is Neopets is Neopets. Neopets is not a current-events discussion forum; it is an a-political and a-religious site. Don't like it? Too bad--find yourself another site that actually wants to hear your rant. We don't. This ensures that the Boards do not degenerate into arguments, because people hold very strong views, especially in politics and religion. We cannot and will not help you with real-life problems like family issues, personal issues, homework, and real pets. There actually are other sites that will be glad to help you, since that's their purpose. And anyway, help for most of those problems should come from someone you trust in real life, not random strangers you meet on the internet. If it's not about Neopets, then it doesn't belong on the Boards. It's that simple.

Along those same lines, if it's not about Neopets, it's spam. Spam is also any post that isn't about the topic at hand. Visiting the Quests Board? Don't advertise your Shop; go to the Shop Ads Board. On the Battledome Board? Don't gush about your new pink Faerie Guild; tell the Guilds Board instead. Looking to meet new people? Try the Newbies Board. The Boards exist for a reason; if you can't find a Board to talk about what you want to talk about, then it's probably not appropriate for the site, anyway.

Do not post Chain Letters. They never work, despite the phrase that they're endorsed by The Neopets Team. They contribute nothing to the Boards, other than taking up space and tricking people. Neopets themselves have said a million times that they'll never honor those with anything except a frozen account.

What else is spam? Asking if someone's going to abandon a painted/certain pet, for one. If someone's going to abandon it, it will go in the Pound; there's no purpose in asking. Begging for items or neopoints is not just spam, but also a scam. Everyone has the same opportunities here; use them yourself and don't expect other people to play the Game for you. Giveaway or "Secret Santa" Boards are also spam. Why? They attract beggars and take up Board space from the real topics, and Neopets has said that giveaway Boards are against the Rules, anyway.



Terms & Conditions

Every website you sign up with--every contract you agree to, really, in real life and in Neopets--has some Terms & Conditions. The contract specifies what both parties agree to do; in this case, Neopets provides the site for you to play on, and you agree to follow their simple Rules. The Terms & Conditions also detail any actions the other party can take if you break the agreement. On any site you sign up with (even if it's free), always be sure you read their Terms & Conditions so you know what you're getting yourself into!

Neopets has provided a Basic Summary, the legal version (they call it the "Long/Boring Version"), and a set of Frequently Asked Questions for their Terms & Conditions. How very kind of them. Notice that the Terms & Conditions are a binding legal contract between you and Neopets; if you break your end of the deal, they have the right to take you to court in real life. Now, nothing in the Terms & Conditions should be confusing, but, alas, that does not seem to be the case. A lot of these will sound familiar, as the NeoRules from the previous section are merely a more succinct version. So, here we go again, reinventing the wheel...


#1

You are actually a guest when you play on Neopets. You do not actually own your account. Everything that Neopets made--which means everything on the site, including your pets--belongs to Neopets. That means you cannot use Neopets' work to earn yourself real money, virtual currency on another site, or even Neopoints here. For example, you cannot sell your Neopoints on Ebay! You also cannot sell your account, your pets, or have someone pay you to play the site for them. You cannot ask for "tips" when lending items, either.


#2

You cannot use Neopets images on non-Neopets sites unless you include all copyright information and link back to them. Any non-Neopets sites on which you use their work cannot be used for making real-life money in any way (no paid advertising, no work-related activity). You also cannot use Neopets' work to earn yourself real money, virtual currency on another site, or even Neopoints here. You cannot even use creative work that is based on Neopets, its characters, or anything in it to earn yourself NPs or real money. This means you cannot charge for creating banners, backgrounds, blogs, etc. You should also be careful that any images you use from non-Neopets sites are allowed to be used in this way. This deals with copyright laws, and you can actually be sued in real life if you violate intellectual property laws.


#3

While Neopets does own everything on the site and has some control over what happens on the site, you should still use internet safety advice while playing. Don't give out any personal information about yourself or anyone else; this includes real names, addresses, phone #s, email addresses, or pictures. This isn't here just to be mean; this is here for your safety. Neopets can't be held responsible for anything that happens away from the site, so instead they encourage you to be smart while playing here so that nothing happens in real life.


#4

Again, while Neopets does own everything on the site and has some control over what happens on the site, they themselves are not responsible for things that users create or write. Things that users create or write does not necessarily reflect Neopets' opinion. If something you see on the site, created by another user, offends you, report it to Neopets and they will take appropriate measures. Do not make up things to report and do not use inappropriate language on the report form itself; it doesn't do any good to get your own account frozen when you're trying to report someone else's abuse, now does it?

Something else that I think should be tacked on to this one--anything that another user creates belongs to them. This includes art work, poetry, and pet pages. Anything that is creatively generated by a user is the intellectual property of that user. Do not steal art work, poetry, or petpages (yes, this most assuredly includes petpages; Al and I have reported people who stole her Guides, and those copycat pages have all been wiped from existence). This is also touched on in the next T&C, but it bears repeating.


#5

Here's the fun one--everything that is not allowed on the site. Ready? Remember, this is all illegal:


  • bad or offensive language or innuendo

  • dating (real-life, virtual, pets, etc.)

  • harassing--defaming/insulting someone (repeatedly calling them names or making fun of them, etc.)

  • gangs or gang talk

  • chat rooms or links to them

  • contests, raffles, giveaways, lotteries, chain messages (this includes Guilds!)

  • stealing someone else's work (art work, poetry, guides, etc.)

  • posting personal information about other people

  • posting political, religious, or social materials/opinions

  • advertising for off-site money-making sites

  • creating bad/offensive/inappropriate pet/user/Shop names

  • pretending to have "cheats" or "hacks".

  • asking for other users' p/ws

  • buying/selling anything on Neopets for real money or other currency

  • scams (includes asking users to change their email address)

  • spamming or party boards

  • pretending something is from Staff when it isn't

  • trying to bypass the filters (including symbols/spaces)

  • anything else that Neopets decides is inappropriate--includes personal health and family questions; homework help; and other games' help

Contests--that's always the one that annoys people. Well, Neopets says you may have games in your Guild if you want to, just don't give away a prize and don't (if you value your account) call it a contest. A Game, yes; a contest, no. Even if it's harmless and you call it a contest, they might not notice that over the glaring "c" word. But why no contests? you whine. Because too many people used them to scam other users, so TNT had to ban them from anywhere on the entire site.

Why was I frozen? you whine now. I never got a warning. Let's quote, shall we? "If you do any of the above we may suspend you from using your account for up to 72 hours or freeze your account permanently. Please note that depending on your account history and the type of infraction, you may be frozen or suspended for breaking the rules and that you WILL be frozen for multiple infractions. Also, you will not necessarily be warned prior to being frozen. This is your warning.


#6

Ah, the multiple-accounts question. Let's see if we can cut through this knot... You can have five (5) accounts; one is your main account, the others are side accounts/galleries. Your main account can visit the daily freebies and do everything else you want it to. Your side accounts, however, cannot exist just to bulk up your main account. You may not use side accounts to visit freebies, play games, or restock. Need NPs or items on a side account? Send them from the Main. Found items on a side account? Send them to the Main. Only your Main Account can earn NPs/items.

On a side account, you can visit the Soup Kitchen and the Healing Springs, however, so your pets won't starve or be sick. You can transfer the entire Secret Laboratory Map over and have the lab ray on a side account, also.


#7

Don't cheat. It's not only immature, it will also get ALL of your accounts frozen permanently. Every once in a while, you'll still see accounts go down for this one. I bet if you asked the owners now, they'd say it wasn't worth it. Neopets knows when and can find out exactly how you cheated. And yes, having your computer play Neopets for you, without your supervision (for example, leaving a certain object on a certain key while you go to school), is considered cheating.


#8

Anything you post anywhere on Neopets is now public knowledge to Neopets and, by posting/creating it, you've agreed (because you agreed to these Terms & Conditions) that Neopets can copy and use it, if they want to. This brings up another point--Neopets monitors everything that is created or sent through their servers. Though they cannot read every message themselves, they are keeping an eye out. Don't think you can get away with anything while you're here.


#9

When you provided your email address when you signed up, you were added to Neopets' harmless list of user email addresses. This means they can send newsletters, special offers, etc. to your email address as long as your address remains on your account. If you take off your email address, you won't get those anymore. But, really, they're harmless.

Yes, there are ways to disguise email addresses and make them look like the message came from Neopets, when really it came from a scammer. Neopets will never ask for any of your user information in an email and will never ask you to change any of your user information; they will also never ask you to visit any off-site links that way. If the email asks for any of those things, it's from a scammer, not from Neopets. The emails that Neopets sends tell you what's happening in the News or that your pets checked out of the NeoLodge. But if in doubt, never click anything in an email. (And by the way, it's a good idea not to have your email address for Neopets be anything like your username; scammers spam email hosting services trying to find users who have the same handle for both).


#10

Try to get into anyone else's account, and you'll lose your own. Simple enough.


#11

Neopets is free; you are not paying them (unless you're a Premium member, and even then, not much) to work for you. So they can and will kick you out--"suspend" or "freeze" your account--if they want to. Behave.

Wall of Shame

What? More Rules? No, no, not quite. This is the Wall of Shame, a place that Neopets keeps you updated on the latest scams. The WoS is a way to let you see which basic scam someone's trying to run on you. What are these main scams?



Etiquette

The main place you're going to interact with people in Neopia is on the Message Boards. And the most important things to know about the Message Boards are that 1) they're closer to forums than to "chat rooms" and 2) they're each specific for a Neopets topic. Usually, you'll come on the appropriate Board, ask a question, get a response, and leave; you'll rarely have a longer conversation with anyone on the Boards. Most longer conversations revert to NeoMail quickly in order to be more private.

To be sure that your question is answered quickly, try to make everything as clear as possible when you compose your topic. Choose a title that reflects your question, so people can know if they'll be able to help; inside the topic, explain as completely yet briefly as you can. Don't use chat speak (that's immature), all capital letters (that's shouting), an ungrammatical mix of caps and lowercase (that's insane), many wild emoticons (that's annoying), hard-to-read fonts (that's frustrating), or confusing neoHTML (that's incomprehensible). You do want your question answered, don't you? Then make it as easy as possible for your helpers to help you.

Now, it is true, that sometimes, no matter how polite you are, how clearly you state the problem, and how urgently you need the answer, no one will answer. Instead of assuming that everyone is conspiring to ignore you, first stop and consider your question again. Is it something you can search for around the site or on the Internet? Is it something that's not as related to the Board as you tried to make it be? Is it something that might be too technical or involved for a simple answer? Oftentimes, many people have seen your topic but just don't know the answer. Sometimes, too, people are answering you, but either they have to check something first, they type slowly, or they have a lot to say.

You could, if you thought you were being overlooked, get mad and start a new topic to yell at everyone. But you really accomplish nothing except to single yourself out for ridicule; no one wants to help someone who just insulted them! Be polite, even when it seems you're being ignored. Asking a question ten times may not be your favorite way to spend an afternoon, but eventually someone might be able to help you. And if you're getting very frustrated, here's a tip: take a long, deep breath and walk away from the computer; get something to eat or drink, walk around a bit, do something else for a few minutes. Neopets is a game. Your life is not ruined if you never get an answer to your question.

Reporting

Knowing the Rules is a very good thing. Helping The Neopets Team (TNT) enforce them is also a good thing. Using the "Report" buttons that TNT provides all around the site does not make you a bad person, contrary to what anyone says. TNT has invited you to help them; after all, when you report someone, Wilson the Red Cybunny says:


Your request has been successfully submitted!
We would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
...
Thank you and good luck!

Now, if TNT didn't want your participation, they never would have made those links in the first place and they never would thank you for using them! So, if you see someone breaking the Rules that we've discussed previously, then you have an obligation to report them as accurately as possible. If there isn't a report link on what you need to report, then use the Abuse Report Form to alert TNT. Once you send a Report, they'll get to work looking at what you sent and investigating the alleged abuse. Eventually, if warranted, they'll act, either warning, suspending, or freezing the account responsible. Don't get in a tither because they didn't do what you wanted them to do when you wanted them to do it. They know their jobs and they're doing them quite well. Besides, they have a lot of reports to go through at any given time (and probably a lot just from me!).

Now don't be thinking you can use the Report option just to bully someone into doing what you want them to do! If you make up something to report, TNT will warn you, and not the person you're threatening. On the other hand, if someone is trying to bully you by saying they'll report you if you don't cooperate, then you know that they'll get a warning if they do. TNT takes all reports seriously but does not appreciate having their form abused and their time wasted. Sending multiple reports about the same person doing the same thing is also considered abusing the form. (Often, if a user has created more than one topic, all breaking the same Rules, I'll make one report and include the URLs for all the topics so everything's in one neat little report. That way, the monitors can immediately see the size of the problem).

Now, someone's probably mad at me right now because I said that I do report. They're probably loading up on Piles of Dung and thinking "Evil report-happy!" Put the Dung down, Mr. GrumpyPants, and listen: I only report things that break the Rules. I don't report to have "fun" or to get back at someone I don't like. I report to help TNT keep the site running smoothly; I report so that no entire Message Board ever has to be deleted again (remember General Chat?). If you aren't breaking the Rules, you'll have no reason to be afraid for your account.

Playing Safe

Keeping Your Account Safe | Keeping Yourself Safe


Here, I'll discuss how to keep your account safe on Neopets from those nasty lazy people who would try to steal your hard work. The first thing you need to do is to be sure you've read and understood the Rules. You can avoid a lot of scams and schemes simply by knowing that someone's trying to break the Rules. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I'll also talk about how to keep yourself safe from those nasty people who would try to hurt you in real life. Just because someone says they're a 13-year-old girl from New York does not mean that they are; they could very easily be a 40-year-old man from Arizona. Think of how easy it is to lie on this site--you can enter any name, any birthdate, any age, either gender, and you can say anything you like about yourself--and there's no one to contradict you. This section is mainly directed at children and teenagers who don't realize how potentially dangerous people on the internet could be.

Keeping Your Account Safe

Some attempts to steal your account are blatant: "Give me your p/w and I'll--" or "Change your email address to--", etc. (and no, I am not really asking for it. I don't want your account; I like mine better. Nyah.). If you have an ounce of common sense, you can easily see how obvious those are. Once someone has your p/w, they can just login to your account, change the email and p/w, and then keep the account. Or if you change your email to theirs, they can just fill out the "lost p/w form" and then they get your p/w. Hopefully you're smart enough to not fall for any of these.

But there are more subtle scams, and most of them hinge on your own greed. Yes, I said your greed. If someone posts a non-Neopets website that claims to give you lots of NPs or paint brushes or rare items for free and without working for them, why would you even consider visiting it? Because you want lots of NPs, paint brushes, and rare items for free without working for them, of course. Most of these websites employ one of two tactics to steal your account: either they brazenly ask for your account name and p/w (see previous paragraph) or they read your browser's "cookies." These cookies are necessary for playing on Neopets; when you login, your username and p/w are added to this list so that you can visit every page on the site. However, if someone has a program on their webpage that can read those cookies, they can steal your username and p/w straight off your computer. Horrors! What ever shall we do?

Combating cookie grabbers is easy--don't visit non-Neopets sites. Okay, so that probably isn't really practical. Here's what I make sure Al does before she visits any sites that aren't on Neopets (even to check her email!):


Switching browsers is probably completely unnecessary, but we like to play it safe. Yes, that's a lot of ringmarole just to visit a non-Neopets site, but if it helps keep our accounts safe, I'm all for it. At the very least, don't visit any outside link that someone on Neopets gives you; there is a very good chance they're just trying to steal your account. Al also goes through something very similar to this when she's done any credit card or bank account transactions on the internet; she likes to be careful with important information.


Usernames and Phishing


Now, let's talk about those usernames and p/ws. When you sign up for Neopets, you have to choose a username and enter an email address. A lot of would-be scammers send emails to free internet-hosted email services, like hotmail and yahoo, using Neopets usernames and pretend either to have found a glitch or to be Neopets staff. This is called a "phishing" scam, and it borrows from the real-life email scam commonly used to steal bank accounts information, credit card information, and other important real-life information.

One way to prevent them sending *you* a scam in an email is to not use an email address that's the same as your username. If your username is "John_Neopet," don't make your email address "John_Neopet @emailservice". That way, you can be fairly certain that every email you get that says it's from Neopets really is from Neopets. And for your p/w, choose something really difficult, something that you actually cannot remember easily. Use both capital and lowercase letters and numbers. This makes your p/w harder to guess and harder to crack by brute-force methods. Throw as many obstacles as you can in the path of anyone who might try to take your account.

Be sure you know the Rules, and read up on some of the excellent petpages other users have written about the most common scams (in the "Advice" links to the right). If someone is offering something that breaks the Rules, you can be sure they're just trying to steal your account and/or your items. If something sounds too good to be true and too easy, it's most likely a scam.

Keeping Yourself Safe On the Internet

We all like to trust people, and we all like to think that no one is lying to us. Since we don't lie about ourselves, we expect that no one else is lying to us, either. We want to believe the best of people, and we want people to believe the best of us. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. People lie. They lie for a lot of reasons, but mostly so that they will look better and be more impressive or so that they can get something that they want. And most people who lie for those reasons don't care if they hurt someone else along the way.

Neopets is a game, and TNT works very hard to make sure that the site is safe and fun for all ages. But, sadly, that doesn't mean we can just blindly trust that everyone on the site feels the same way we and TNT do. There is nothing to prevent people from lying on Neopets. No matter what anyone says or how trustworthy they seem--and even, no matter how long you have known them on the internet--you have no guarantee that they are who they say they are. Pictures and info can be faked; anyone can use chat speak or misspell words to sound more like a child. What anyone says about themselves online is not necessarily true. I say that I'm 25, female, and a writer, but you cannot prove it. The only evidence you have it what I say, but you don't know me, so you cannot know if I am lying.

Some people will spend a lot of time on a chat room or other site with a large percentage of child/teenage users and will pretend to also be a child or teenager in order to blend in. They look for children who will talk to them, and they talk to these children for a long time, over weeks and months, until the child trusts them. Once they get enough information from the child, they usually set up a real-life meeting. When you hear about children missing in the real world, often you'll hear that the suspected kidnapper is someone they met on an Internet chat room. Most of these children are never found alive. I'm not trying to scare you into anything, but I am trying to warn you to not trust anyone you meet on the internet, or at least, to only trust them with online information. Never give out your real information. Statistics show that every single person who uses chat boards will, at some point, meet at least one of these twisted people on the internet.

Of course, you still want to have a good time on the internet, and you want to let people get to know you. You don't have to mistrust everyone and you don't have to glare at every post suspiciously. All you need is to know a few common safety tips and to keep them in mind, and then you're ready to have a good (and safe!) time on the internet. TNT has already written most of these in the Golden Rules to Internet Safety, so we're mostly just going to review those here:

Tip One
You do not have to--and should not--enter any personal information about yourself on Neopets. That information is entirely optional. Even with just a little bit of personal information, people can still find you in real life. Personal information could include your real name, where you live, your phone #, where your parents work, and where you go to school. I'm an adult, and I'm a black belt, and I'm fully confident that I could take care of myself in any situation. But my name is not "Al." It's nothing even remotely close to "Al." But I'll only let you call me "Al." I will not tell you where I live. Why? Because you don't need to know my personal information. If even I, as an adult competent in self-defense and hand-to-hand combat, won't give out my personal information, how much more careful should you be!

Tip Two
If anyone ever says anything to you or tells you to look at anything online that makes you uncomfortable for any reason, tell your parents. (By the way, adults are not the enemy. We don't want to stop you from having fun. But we want to make sure that you're safe. If you do something you don't like, that's not fun, is it?). You aren't the one who did anything wrong; the other person is. And there are laws that say they can't do things like that, not even over the Internet. Did you know that Shaq is also a police officer who specializes in internet crimes against children? He looks for these types of people. If something makes you uncomfortable, tell your Mom to tell Shaq.

Tip Three
As a general rule, you should not meet with people in real-life who you first meet on the internet. But if you must, be sure you keep yourself safe. First, only meet people you have virtually "known" for a long time; you have a better chance of not finding a creep. Second, insist on meeting in a public place that you know well and that will have lots of people; if you need to scream for help, you want someone to hear you. Third, and most important, take an adult with you; that might make the first meeting a little awkward, but at least you'll be safe. That first face-to-face meeting is the time to find out if this person in real-life is the same way they are on the internet, not to be instant best friends.

Tip Four
Be careful of email attachments and non-Neopets internet sites. You could not only get viruses on your computer that way, but you could also be subjected to pictures or other media that you really don't want to see. I always delete emails with attachments from people who I don't know. More about protecting your computer and your account is covered in the previous section, Keeping Your Account Safe.

Tip Five
Don't give out your IM, MSN, or other chat program username or your personal email address. Neopets cannot be responsible for anything that happens once you leave their site. Those chat programs are one way that people can contact you and say things that are not allowed on Neopets. Chatting with your real friends is fine, but why would you want to chat with a complete stranger? You only know what they've told you about themselves. When you make real friends, you not only hear what they say to you, but you also see how they treat other people, how they take care of themselves, how they react in different situations, and how they act when they think no one is watching. You do not merely get to know people by what they say, but also by what they do. You do not have that over the Internet, so you can never fully know anyone that way.

Tip Six
Another tip for keeping your account safe--never give anyone your p/w. Neopets will never ever ask for it. Never, never, never, never, never. Should I repeat it again? Never ever ever.

Tip Seven
Help your parents set up some Internet Safety Tips and Rules. That way, they can point out exactly what shouldn't happen on the internet, and you can also show them what you do on the internet. That way, you both understand each other and can trust one another. Remember, the adults in your real life are trying to help you, not make your life miserable. Our definition of "safe" might be a little more extreme than yours, but be patient--the more responsible and mature you learn to be, the more independent we can let you be.

Tip Eight
Finally, a general tip for signing up for Internet sites--while Neopets is free, not all sites are! A lot of sites have a free option and a pay option; you get less control/space/options/etc. on the free site, but hey, it's free. If the site you want to sign up for costs real money, you need to talk to your parents and explain why you absolutely must have it. (However, if you were my child, I'd probably make you pay for it yourself. The internet is not vital to your survival, despite current popular opinion.)

Questions?

I know, you still have a question or want to argue a minor point, and not everything fits neatly into even all the categories we've been through so far. Well, truth be told, I don't have all the answers. However, I know who does--The Neopets Team (TNT), the people who made and maintain this site. You can contact them through the Support Pages for specific questions or a more general form on the Contact page. These kindly folks answer our most obscure questions about the site, which, I imagine, has gotten more complex than they ever imagined. Do remember to be polite to them--rudeness never gets you the help you want.

I'll keep track of the odd bits I find down here. These have all been found in the Neopian Times Editorial or in emails from staff members.

About Me

So, guest, has this Guide been helpful for you? I do hope so. If you'd like to let my owner know what you thought, I'm sure she'd appreciate it. This Guide's still in progress, so if you've got any suggestions, corrections, or helpful links, we'd love to hear about them. She already knows she needs to fix the tone--too much of her, not enough of brilliant little me.




counter started 3/30/05 at 0840 NST


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Copyright

And now, class, a lesson on copyrights...

Copyrights are automatically granted to anyone who publishes a picture, a poem, a story, or an article of any sort; the work can be published anywhere, including on the internet. Copyrights do not have to be registered in order to be valid; as soon as a work is published, the author or creater owns the copyright. A copyright means that only the author or creator of a work can determine how it is used; no one else can copy the work without the author/creator's permission. Copyrights apply to everything on the Internet--once a work is put up on the Internet, it is considered "published" and all rights belong to its creator.

Now, when someone publishes on Neopets, as I have done with this petpage, they agree to give up some rights to Neopets. These rights are defined in the Neopets Terms & Conditions; basically, I have to agree not to infringe on Neopets copyrights. I have agreed with them, and I have not infringed on their copyrights. But I retain all other rights, such as re-publishing and copying.

This webpage--"Learn the Rules!," published on Eldrakkyn's petpage on www.neopets.com by user alatyr13--is copyrighted to me simply because it's on the internet. I wrote it, not you. I give you permission to link to it in any way you feel is appropriate, but you cannot copy it. The Neopets Terms & Conditions, #5, says that using "materials created by someone else without their express written permission" is not allowed. This is material I created, and you don't have my express written permission, and you'll never get it from me.

It's a very sad reflection on today's educational system and on people's ethics that I even have to take the time to point this out, but too many peole have tried to copy my pages. I put a lot of work in to them. Make your own guide.


Helping Players Read the Rules Since March 2005
Last Updated February 23, 2008



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NEOPETS, characters, logos, names and all related indicia
are trademarks of Neopets, Inc., © 1999-2014.
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