In the age of technology, the internet plays a vital role in our everyday lives. Starting in grade school, lessons on how to use the computer and find information on the internet are instilled in almost every classroom. Concerned parents have raised the question, “Are our kids safe on the internet?” While there are still many people worried about the safety of not only their children but themselves on the world wide web, there are simple precautions you can take to insure the wellbeing of you and your family. Follow these simple concepts for internet safety:

  • The internet puts you in contact with different people from all over the world, both young and old. It’s important to remember that just because someone tells you do not know who you are talking to on the internet. A person can lie to convince you to talk to them, or entice you to give out personal information. Never give personal information to a person you do not know. In addition, do not fill out forms asking for personal information on websites. Personal information includes name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, name of school, etc.
  • If you come across a website that has information you do not feel comfortable with, make sure you tell a parent, teacher or guardian. The world wide web houses a wide variety of information – some of the information is not appropriate for people of all ages.
  • Passwords are personal information. Creating and remember a password is a very important part to using the internet responsibly. Do you have all of your usernames and passwords written down somewhere? Write down all of your usernames and passwords and keep them in a special box or folder in your room. Allow parents or guardians to have access to your passwords, but never friends or strangers.
  • Treat the world of the internet as you would real life situations. When you talk to people online or post messages on message boards, blogs or forums, you are voicing your ideas and opinions to millions of people world-wide. Make sure what you say is not offensive or mean in anyway. Just because you are on the internet, it doesn’t give you the right to curse or write profanity towards or about anyone.
  • Make sure you check with a teacher, parent or guardian before you download anything of the internet. The internet is an easy way to get viruses and spyware onto your personal computer.

These are just a few of the many tips for online safety. If you are interested in finding more information on online safety, the following websites are wonderful resources:

  • NetSmartz Kids – A kid friendly guide to using the internet and being safe while doing so. There are educational games and activities that teach children what to look out for on the internet.
  • Web Wise Kids – An informational powerhouse that offers press releases, informative articles, educational videos, interactive programs, and more. Register online to receive the most up to date information on internet safety for both you and your children.
  • A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety – This governmental website offers an informative guide to online safety for both parents and children alike.
  • Password Safety – Information regarding usernames and passwords. These tips will teach you how to keep your password protected, as well as the procedures to follow if you need to recover a forgotten password.
  • Online Safety for Kids – These simple steps will help teach kids the rules to the internet.

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Published November 17, 2011 by