Internet Safety Tips

computer Internet Safety Tips for Students and Parents     

 

Safety Tips for Students

  • Never give out or share personal information numbers (PIN), etc. Personal information includes your name, the names of friends or family, your address, phone number, school name (or team name if you play sports.) Personal info also includes pictures of yourself and your e-mail address. Ask permission before sharing any information with a website, a "chat buddy" and even when registering a product purchased for your computer (like a game.) Passwords are secret. Never tell anyone your password except your parents or guardian.
  • Don't believe everything you read. Just because someone online tells you that they are 15 doesn't mean they are telling the truth. Even adults can't tell when a male pretends to be a female or a 50 year old pretends to be a 15 year old.
  • Use Netiquette. Be polite to others online just as you would offline. If someone treats you rudely or meanly - do not respond. Online bullies are just like offline ones - they WANT you to answer (don't give them the satisfaction.)
  • Never send a message to others when you are angry. Wait until you have had time to calm down and think. Do your best to make sure that your messages are calmly and factually written. You will usually regret sending a "Flame" (angry) to someone else. Once you've sent a message, it is VERY hard to undo the damage that such "flames" can do.
  • Never open a message from someone you don't know. If in doubt about it, ask your parents, guardian or an adult.
  • If it doesn't look or "feel right", it probably isn't. Trust your instincts. While surfing the Internet, if you find something that you don't like, makes you feel uncomfortable or scares you, turn off the computer and tell an adult.
  • You don't have to be "Always on." Turn off, disconnect, unplug. Give yourself a break. Don't stay online or connected too long. Spend time with your family and friends off line. Try a little less virtual reality and a lot more actual reality!

 

Tips for Parents

Every day sites such as http://www.myspace.com/ , http://www.aim.com/ , http://www.xanga.com/ , and http://www.facebook.com/ are enticing elementary through high school students to create WebPages, blogs, and online conversations. I.T. does their best to block new sites daily at school, but it is important for parents to monitor their child's computer use closely, every single day.  Students are computer savvy and are finding ways to access these sites at home and at school.  They are posting personal information, harassing other students, making online threats, and making plans to skip school, etc.

Many internet predators are visiting these sites, posing as kids themselves and then chatting with students.  These online predators are finding it easy to make connections with students through something as simple as a common interest. They may make arrangements to meet students in order to abduct or molest them at any place at any time, therefore creating a potential safety risk for students across the nation.

As parents, these are some things you can do to protect your child: 

  • Talk to your child about their online use.
  • Purchase online programs to check out what your child is doing. (http://www.spyarsenal.com/ has a Family Keylogger to download. It records everything your child types on the computer, secretly. Also, check out http://www.spectorsoft.com/ for more programs to record your child's online use.)
  • Keep the computer in a common room, rather than in your child's bedroom.

Check out the above sites and see if your child has a 'blog,' or a webpage, or is using a form of Instant Messaging. 

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 For more information about internet safety, go to www.safeteens.com or www.safekids.com, or read the article

Last Modified on October 22, 2014

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