Internet Safety

Internet Safety

The internet has become an important tool in today's society. Most families have a computer in their house and use it daily. The internet can be a good resource for information and a good way for people to communicate. The Internet can be used for research, business, shopping, etc. People need to protect themselves online just like they would in person. People need to make sure that they keep their identity private. Parents need to ensure that they educate their children about internet use and safety. If you receive a hostile or inappropriate email, do not respond to it. Children may encounter information or people on the internet that they do not know how to handle. Parents need 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, use secure websites and shop with companies you know.

Additional websites for more information: 

OnGuardOnline.gov
IKeepSafe.org
ConnectSafely.org
NetSmartz.org
StaySafeOnline.org
WiredSafety.org
Cyberbully.org

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 around the corner and 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 technology, children sometimes adapt to the Internet more rapidly than adults. But having experience with computers and the Internet is not the same as having experience in life. Children are all the more threatened online because they often lack an 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 Internet use and to be aware of their online activities. Children need to be granted some responsibility to develop, and the Internet is no exception. But just as you wouldn't send your children into a strange city alone, you shouldn't leave them online without parental guidance. Encourage your children to tell you about any online experience that scares or upsets them.

Internet Safety tips for kids

  • Keep the computer in a common room in the house with frequent foot traffic to monitor internet use.
  • Agree on a list of rules for internet usage and post it on the computer. The list should include the amount of time allowed on the internet, how late they are on the computer, and what websites 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, and credit card information.
  • 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.
  • Ensure you do not answer emails or chat with people 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. Some dangers are associated with using networking sites like Snapchat, Instagram, BeReal, and TikTok. Some risks include getting viruses on your computer, predators, and divulging too much information. When using social networking sites, ensure your privacy settings are at the highest level. Do not friend people you do not know because they will access the information you post. It is important not to post too much information online because it can not be taken back once something is online. Also, do not post too much personal information about you or your schedules on the internet.

Online Purchasing Safety Reminders

  • Use credit cards rather than debit cards.
  • Try to make all your online purchases with one credit card so you can pay the charges more easily.
  • Do not give out personal or financial information 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