Protect Your Kids Online

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The Internet can be a wealth of information to help you with your homework, and it can be an enjoyable place to connect with friends and family. As convenient and entertaining as the Internet is, there are some dangerous aspects about it, too. The World Wide Web is a vast arena, and you can’t always know the people you communicate with or who can see personal details about you. It’s important to protect yourself from danger and harm that could happen from using the Internet.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Websites that enable users to interact with each other, sharing comments and photos, are social media websites. When you frequent these websites, you can build relationships with other people through the conversations you have. It’s often enjoyable to spend time online chatting with friends and sharing photos. It’s important to protect your privacy on social media websites, though. Set your account so that only people you know personally can see your updates. Never interact with people you don’t know personally at school or where you live. Never share personal information such as your full name, address, phone number, and account details with anyone online.

CYBERBULLYING

Bullying involves intimidation, threats, harassment, and humiliation. While bullying often occurs at school, it can also occur online. Bullying that happens online through the use of any type of technology is called cyberbullying. Cyberbullying could happen on social media websites, in chat forums, by email, or via text messages. If you ever feel harassed or threatened by someone else online or by email or text message, tell a parent right away. Your parent can contact your school, and school administrators can work to stop the cyberbullying.

SURFING THE WEB/DOWNLOADING MATERIAL

You might browse to many different websites as you use the Internet. Some websites are comparatively safe, while others might not be free of dangers. Try to stay on websites that seem legitimate, showing the name of the organization, the person authoring the website, and dates of updates. Domains ending in .gov and .edu are usually reliable websites, but .com websites may not always be safe. Some websites have links to download information or programs to your computer or device. While these downloads could be harmless, you can’t always know for sure that they are safe. Some downloads will place dangerous and destructive viruses on your computer. Protect yourself and your computer by browsing reputable websites whenever possible. It’s also helpful to install virus protection on your computer, which should block harmful viruses.

ONLINE PREDATORS

Criminals prowl the Internet in search of potential victims. Some of these victims could be children if parents and kids are not careful about how children use the Internet. Never interact with anyone on the Internet who you don’t know personally, and never share any personal details about you or your family with someone on the Internet. If you ever feel uncomfortable or nervous about conversations you have on the Internet, tell a parent or other adult right away to get help. It’s never safe to keep secrets from your parents about things that happen on the Internet. Never agree to meet someone you met online in person. Follow your parents’ rules about how and when you use the Internet to stay safe.