While the Internet may be accessed from the privacy of one's home, in reality it is an extremely public place and should therefore be given the same consideration as a busy city intersection. These tips provide strategies for helping you use the Internet safely and responsibly.
Internet Safety Tips for Kids
- Don't give out personal or identifying information about yourself, your family members or your friends. Such information would include:
- full names
- email addresses or passwords
- physical addresses
- phone numbers: home or cell
- school or sports teams
- links to Web sites with such information about you or people that you know
- Don't share pictures of yourself. If you do, use photo software to turn them into sketches or otherwise disguise them so that others cannot misuse them.
- Think of the Internet as a permanent billboard, and remember that the whole world may be watching.
If you wouldn't want that creepy person on the bus, your parents, family, or teachers to see it, don't post it.
Stuff on the Internet can live a very long time and may be seen by anyone.
- Go with your gut. If a Web site or person gives you an uneasy feeling, then leave it or them, tell your parents about it or them, and block the site or person.
- Keep you passwords secret.
- Don't trust just anyone. Pick a secret code word to use with friends.
- Realize that when IMing you might be communicating with more people than you are aware.
- Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you meet online.
- Do not respond to any message that is mean or makes you feel uncomfortable. Tell your parents if you do get any improper messages.
- Pick a safe username that doesn't say too much about you and is not easy to guess. Make sure that it contains a mix of letters, numbers, and if possible, symbols.
For grownups: see Internet Safety for Parents or Caregivers , Internet Safety Tips for Parents, and
Internet Safety Web Sites in the section for Grownups.