The Internet is not as safe as it appears. It is available to anyone and that includes those who seek to harm others. Although everyone is vulnerable to being victimized on the Internet, children are particularly at risk. It is imperative that we educate youth about safety practices on the Internet, just as we emphasize safety practices on the street. Here are some simple tips that will help reduce your likelihood of victimization.
These suggestions are primarily for kids and parents are urged to discuss them with their children:
Always tell your parents about any threatening or bad language you see online.
Do not accept things from strangers (email, web page addresses, pictures).
Do not give your passwords to anyone else, not even a best friend.
If someone says something that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, do not respond; tell your parents.
Never email pictures or anything of a personal nature to strangers.
Never give your home address, telephone number or school name.
Never say you will meet someone in person without asking for your parent's permission.
Be careful with social networking and blogging sites (MySpace, Friendster, Xanga, Facebook, etc.) While the majority of the activity on these sights is legal and positive, the amount of personal information, pictures and scheduling information can create a false sense of security and can make kids and teens vulnerable to inappropriate relationships. Kids can also become victims of cyber-bullying, identity theft and receiving inappropriate content.