INTERNET SAFETY TIPS FOR STUDENTS
Online predators are out there!!!
FaceBook and MySpace have become important websites for people. FaceBook, MySpace, Yahoo! 360, Xanga and other websites have some very nice features, but there are very important things that you must consider before you post any information on your personal website. If you do not, you may expose not only yourself, but also your friends and loved ones to dangers that you may not have thought about. Below is a list of helpful tips and reminders that can be used to help recognize these potentially hazardous situations and how to respond appropriately.
- Do not give out personal information about yourself, your family, friends or school when you have not actually met the person or know and trust the website and know that it is secure (look for the lock in the lower right corner). This includes personal information that can be used by online predators to distinguish you from another person and possibly find you in real life. This also includes your name, address, phone number, school, school mascot, school colors, coach’s name, grade your in, teacher’s name, principal’s name, friend’s names, and family names.
- Get to know your "online friends" just as you get to know all of your other friends. Be sure that you are dealing with someone that you and your parents know and trust before giving out any personal information about yourself via Instant Message, E-mail, an Internet bulletin board, or on a website.
- Never send out your picture without your parents' permission.
- Do not agree to meet someone whom you have met online but do not know in real life.
- Be careful when someone offers you something for nothing, such as gifts or money. Remember, any offer, “That is too good to be true” probably is.
- Do not ever accept a gift or an offer that involves having someone visit your house.
- Always tell your parents or guardian if you see something online that you know is wrong or makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Do not open email messages from people you do not know, and especially when they contain weird or unknown attachments. Delete them.
- Do not respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
- Try not to panic if you see an inappropriate website. Simply exit the window (click X in the top corner), Control-Alt-Delete, or turn off the computer if the website does not allow you to leave the inappropriate material.
- Only use credit cards or bank prepaid cards online with your parents’ permission, and with a website that shows a locked padlock in the lower right corner of your web browser.
- If you feel uncomfortable about contact with a person, email or website talk to your parents or call the police. If possible, try to save the email, IM chat, images, or at least try to print them out.
- Have fun! The Internet is a great tool that is used for many wonderful things. Just like any community, there are areas on the Internet where you can find yourself in compromising situations. A little bit of street smarts on the information highway will help make your Internet experience fun, rewarding, and safe!