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Internet Safety

Kids love computers - what a powerful tool to engage young learners!  The Internet is full of great sites that help kids learn.  Let's let our children use this to help them get ready for school.  We need to teach children some basic ideas on how to use the Internet safely.  Here's a slideshow that shows how.  Just click the RIGHT ARROW BUTTON to advance through this slideshow and see this lesson.

Safe Surfin' Resources

Safe Surfing

The Internet is a wonderful place to play, learn, and work.  It helps us be connected with the world.  We can use the Internet to make friends.  Is it always a safe place?  It is important to be careful anyplace you go - it is important to be careful when online.

Learning new technology is an important skills.  Learning to wisely use new technology is even more important.  It is important to protect yourself and others when using the Internet.

What are some of the issues?  One can find all types of people, information, and viewpoints online.  There are good people on the Web, but there are also criminals and scammers.  There are also different types of computer viruses, spyware, and and malicious software.  Like visiting anyplace else - BE CAREFUL!

The 3 C's

Safe surfing means protecting yourself and others from inappropriate:

  1. Content
    • Inappropriate pictures and illustrations
    • Racism and hate
    • Inaccurate and misleading information
  2. Contact
    • Threatening IM and emails
    • Abusive relationships
  3. Commerce
    • Invasion of privacy
    • Advertising disguised as nonbiased facts
    • Scams and other forms of theft

Don't Give Out Personal Information

Be careful what you put online - once its on the Internet, there is no taking it back.  People can save data or files and much of the Internet is regularly cached and archived.  It is possible to find things that have been posted and then removed.

Don't put anything that personally identifies you online:

  • Full or last name
  • Home address
  • Email addresses
  • Cell phone numbers
  • City or town of residence
  • School
  • Place of work
  • Favorite hangouts
  • Name of teams and clubs that you participate in
  • Photos that are easily recognizable
  • Passwords
  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security number
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Parent's place of work

Most of us are careful of people that we meet in parks or other public places - use the same care when online.  Remember, people can pretend to be anyone they want to online. 

Be careful with the statements you make online too.  Remember, anyone can save anything.  The Internet is regularly cached and archived.  Don't we all know what it is like to say something and wish we could take it back?  Once something is posted on the World Wide Web, it could theoretically be there forever. 

There are cases of people being denied jobs or promotions because of something that they posted online.  Why take a chance?  Don't make statements online that could be offensive, insulting, or indicate a strong dislike of different people, places, ideas, or organizations.  These types of statements could come back, perhaps even years later, and become problems.

Use a little thought and common sense when using the Internet.  Assume that the computer you are using can always be identified.  Be careful visiting Websites that have many pop-ups and advertising gimmicks.  Be sure to always use firewalls and virus protection software.  When in doubt, DON'T CLICK!

Don't sign up for free services and email lists without having a good reason - and even then - only if you know the site to be trustworthy.  When buying or selling anything online, make sure everything is fully verifiable.  Remember, people get ripped off even on eBay and other popular trading Websites. 

Don't open email attachments from strangers.  In fact, it is a good idea to never open an email attachment unless you are expecting it.  Don't download programs unless you know what you are doing and have good reason to trust the source. 

It is much easier to be careful when surfing than it is to straighten out the problems from carelessly using the Internet.  The Internet is a great resource, but like anywhere else you go, PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Staying safe online involves being careful and thinking about what you are doing and what information you give out.

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