There’s no denying that the Internet is a fun and educational tool. But as with everything, there are rules to be followed for safe use. The following guidelines should help you and your child make good decisions about how they play games, chat online, and interact on social networking sites.
“Your guide to Online Safety for Children“
The first rule to keep in mind: trust your instincts. If something seems wrong or you receive an inappropriate message, tell your parents.
Remember these rules for staying safe online:
- Never post or trade personal pictures. This is very dangerous and also illegal. It’s against the law to take pictures of anyone naked without their permission.
- Never reveal personal information, such as an address, phone number, school name, or friends’ names.
- Never send or receive personal messages from strangers. If someone starts acting inappropriately, tell your parents right away.
- Never arrange to meet someone you’ve only met online without an adult present. This is not safe because you can never be sure who you’re meeting in person if they are strangers (and sometimes strangers might try to trick you).
- Never agree to share passwords or personal information (e.g., PIN numbers) with friends or strangers online. This information might be used against you later.
- Ask your parents first before giving any of your personal information out to someone online. They will appreciate the fact that you respect them and value their opinion.
- Never arrange to meet someone without telling your parents first.
If your child is not an adult, then you are responsible for them while they are on the Internet. It is important to remember that it’s never too early to start talking with children about netiquette (or online etiquette). This can be done before children begin to explore the Internet on their own.