Safety Tips

Internet Safety

The internet has become an important tool in today's society. Most families have a computer in their house and use it on a daily basis. The internet can be a good resource for information and a good way for people to communicate. The internet can be used for research, to conduct business, shop and many other things. It is important for people to protect themselves on the internet just like they would in person. People need to make sure that they keep their identity private. Parents need to make sure that they educate their children about internet use and internet safety. If you receive a hostile or inappropriate email, do not respond to it. Children may run across information or people on the internet that they do not know how to handle. It is important for parents to talk to their children about how to handle those situations. Parents need to set a good example for their children. Adults need to use caution when using the internet as well. Many people now use the internet to pay bills, shop and conduct their banking online. It is important to keep your password private and secure. Also make sure to use secure websites and shop with companies that you know.

Why does the Internet pose such a danger to children?

The Internet has provided some wonderful opportunities for our children. Never before have they had access to such a powerful tool for conducting school research, learning about new things, finding new recreation and entertainment, and communicating with their friends both around the corner and around the globe.

As a parent, you've probably thought at some point that your children know more about the Internet than you do. And to a degree, you're right. Growing up with the technology, children sometimes adapt to the Internet much more rapidly than adults. But having experience with the computer and the Internet is not the same thing as having experience in life. Children are all the more threatened online because they often lack understanding of the motives and intentions of others, and do not realize the danger in which they may place themselves and their families by giving away personal information about themselves.

Children have a rich private life away from adults, and in some ways that can be a good thing. But the key to protecting your child online is to stay involved in their use of the Internet, and to be aware of their online activities. Children need to be granted some responsibility in order to develop, and the Internet is no exception. But just as you wouldn't send your children into a strange city all by themselves, you shouldn't leave them online without parental guidance. Encourage your children to tell you about any online experience that scares or upsets them.

Additional websites for more information:

Internet safety tips for kids

*Keep the computer in a common room in the house with frequent foot traffic so that internet use can be monitored.
* Agree on a list of rules for internet usage and post it by the computer. The list should include amount of time allowed on the internet, how late the are allowed on the computer, and what websites that they may visit and not visit,. Have all the members of the household sign an internet pledge.
* Never give out personal information to anyone that you meet online. Personal information includes last name, address, phone numbers, passwords, birth dates, credit card information, and passwords.
* Never meet up with anyone you meet on the internet. People may not be who they say they are. Do not tell people you do not know your schedule or where you will be.
* Make sure you know all the people on your My Space, Facebook or buddy list.
* Make sure you do not answer emails or chat with people that you do not know.
* Do not download information or items without your parent's permission. The content may damage your computer.
* Be careful about downloading pictures of yourself online.

Internet Safety for Teens

Most teens use social networking sites. There are dangers that are associated with the use of networking sites, such as Facebook and My Space. Some of the risks include getting viruses on your computer, predators, and divulging too much information. Use caution when you open emails or links that are sent to you because they may contain a virus. Do not open emails that are from websites or email addresses that you do not recognize. When using the social networking sites make sure that your privacy settings are on the highest setting. Do not friend people that you do not know because they will have access to the information you post. It is important to not post too much information online because once something is online it can not be taken back. Also do not post too much personal information on the internet about you or your schedules.

Internet Safety for Adults

Online Shopping Safety
* Use online payment services such as PayPal or WorldPay if possible
* Use credit cards rather than debit cards.
* Try to make all your online purchases with one credit card, so you can the charges easier
*Do not give out personal or financial information out over the phone
* Do not keep passwords or financial information saved on your computer
* Know who you are dealing with online: verify the seller's physical address and phone number in case of problems
*Check out the terms of the deal, know the delivery date and return policies