The internet is a great resource for communicating with family and friends, finding information and having fun. But it is also important to stay safe when online via a computer, cell phone or gaming system.

Keep these important safety tips to keep in mind when you are online.

 

Online Safety
Text Messages
Cyber Bullying
Keep Your Privacy

 

Online Safety

Unfortunately, kids have been tricked online by people who pretend to be something that they're not. Some kids have found themselves in a dangerous situation when they agreed to meet the mysterious online "friend" in person. Here's some tips that will help you stay safe and have fun:

  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  • Never give out personal information such as your full name, school, home address, or phone number.
  • Tell a parent or another trusted adult if a stranger contacts you in a chat room or through email or text messaging.
  • Do not meet anyone (or have them visit you) without talking to your parents first.
  • Talk to your parents about anything that you encounter online that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared.

Want to know more?

See how quickly someone can find you online. Watch the Tracking Teresa video from NetSmartz.org.

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Text Messages

It's important to think before you text. Once you send a text message or a photo, even to a friend, you can't take it back and you never know who might forward it.

Be sure you think twice before you send or text anything that you might regret. Ask yourself: "How would I feel if my parents [or teacher] saw this?"

Want to know more?

Watch the videos Information Travels at NSTeens.org.

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Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying, like bullying in the physical world, may include:

  • Sending hurtful, hateful, derogatory, harassing or threatening messages to others;
  • Spreading rumors; and/or
  • Sending personal or embarrassing information about or pictures of others - all with the intention of intimidating, frightening, ridiculing, or harming someone else.

Cyber Bullying Advice

  • If your friends are participating in cyber bullying, it doesn't mean you have to! Think about how you would feel if you were the person your peers were talking about.
  • If someone is bullying you, remember that you can ignore, block or "unfriend" anyone who is bullying you online. Also, don't reply or forward the message to anyone (except to a trusted adult).
  • It's always a good idea to involve a trusted adult -maybe a parent, teacher, older sibling, or coach.

Want to know more?

Watch the video Cyber Bullying at NSTeens.org.

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Keep Your Privacy

You may think you have privacy while online or on your phone, but IMs, emails, photos, texts and wall posts - all forms of digital communication - can be forwarded, shared, altered and printed. And, even if you delete them, they can still sometimes last forever!

Be sure to check with your parent before you create any personal profile. Why? This information could be used for reasons you wouldn't like, like getting a lot of junk email.

Another way to keep your privacy is to choose a screen name or email account name that isn't your real name. For instance, instead of "Mark_Smith," why not choose "Sk8boardKing21"? Only your friends and family will know your code name!

Privacy Tips:

  • Don't send pictures that would be embarrassing to you or others.
  • Don't share your passwords with anyone except your parents.
  • Don't reply to any email that asks for your personal information. Some emails may look official, as if it was sent by your Internet provider, but they can actually be a trick to get your personal info.

Want to know more?

Watch the video Mike-Tosis at NSTeens.org.

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