Stay Safe on the Web
There are risks for children who use online services. Teenagers are particularly at risk because they often use the computer unsupervised and because they are more likely to participate in online discussions regarding companionship, relationships, or sexual activity. Some risks are:
- Exposure to inappropriate material of a sexual or violent nature.
- Physical molestation: while online a child might provide information and arrange an encounter with pedophiles that could risk his/her safety.
- Harassment: A child may encounter email or bulletin board messages that are harassing, demeaning, or belligerent.
While children need a certain amount of privacy, they also need parental involvement. Most online services allow parents to limit their children’s access to certain services and adult-oriented chat and bulletin boards.
Tips for Kids and Teens
- Never give out personal information to anyone you meet online.
- Never meet in person with anyone you don't already know. People are often not who they say they are.
- Do not fill out any "fun" questionnaires that are forwarded to you, even if they're from your friends.
- Know everyone on your "friends" list.
- There's no such thing as "private" on the internet. People can keep what you post forever.
- Do not answer emails or instant messages from people you don't know.
- Be careful about posting pictures of yourself or other people.
- Do not download content without your parents' permission.
- Never share your password with anyone but your parents.
Safety LinksNetSmartz NetSmartz for Teens
An interactive website with 3-D activities to teach kids how to stay safe on the internet. This educational safety resource is from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)Safety Tips: internet Safety
A kid-friendly section from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website lists some important tips for kids to keep in mind when using the internet.