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Commack School District

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Internet Safety Guidelines for Kids

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

  • Always ask your parents' permission before using your full name, address, telephone number, date of birth, school name, or parents' work address anywhere on the Internet.

  • Always tell your parents or other adult you trust if you see something online that is scary or that you don't understand.

  • Never agree to get together with someone you "met" online without your parents' permission and without an adult along.

  • Never send a picture, credit card number or password over the Internet.

  • Don't respond to any message that is mean-spirited or in any way makes you feel uncomfortable.  It isn't your fault if you get a message like that.  If you do, be sure to tell your parents so they can contact the service provider.

  • Talk to your parents about the time of day you can be online, the length of time you can be online, and the appropriate areas you can visit.  Do not break these rules or access other areas without their permission.

  • Be a smart consumer in cyberspace.  Not everything you see or hear may be true.

  • Be a good citizen online.  Do not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law.

Most of these rules are adapted from the brochure  "Child Safety on the Information Highway" and are available free by calling  800-843-5678.

For Grades 2 -8

   The Internet is a place that provides information about all sorts of new and exciting topics. At the same time, the Internet can be tricky and cause you to give out information that other people should not have. Always ask a trusted adult before giving out information such as your full name, home address, telephone number, date of birth, school name, or your parent’s information anywhere on the Internet. If you do not understand something that you find on the Internet, ask someone you trust for guidance. It is also important to protect the identity of yourself and others, never give out any family pictures or pictures of yourself without a parent’s permission.
   Online shopping is convenient and saves you money. Whenever you are buying something online, make sure that you are using a safe and trusted website; it is important to be careful with credit card numbers so nobody takes that information and uses it in a harmful way. Look for the Padlock on the address bar that lets you know that the site is secure.
   Remember that anybody can see what you put online. It is important to treat others on the computer with the same respect and courtesy that you would treat somebody in person. You also deserve respect on the Internet, if anything seems harmful to you or your family, tell your parents right away. While the Internet is a fun place to spend time, do not forget about physical activities. Make sure you are going outside and engaging in sports and recreation. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by staying active away from the computer.

Listed below are ways you can stay safe for the times you are online:

  • Privacy Settings:  Learn about the privacy features on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They are there to help you, make sure your information stays safe.

  • Be aware of your actions: Know that once you post something online it stays there forever. Realize that everyone sees what you have posted and it will never be removed from the Internet.

  • Your online reputation: If you post things that are important and appropriate, others will appreciate it. Do not post anything that will offend someone else.

  • Personal Information: Social Media websites ask for a lot of information. Be careful how much information you give out. The more that you put on the websites, the easier it can be for others to get it and possibly use it in a harmful way.

  • Know your friends: Be aware of the people that you are interacting with online. If you do not know them, do not interact with them in any way. If somebody you do not know reaches out to you, do not respond.

  • Do not be afraid to speak out: If something on the Internet is offensive to you, let somebody know. It most likely is offending others as well, or could eventually make someone feel upset.

  • Online shopping: If you are ever ordering anything on the Internet, make sure an adult is supervising you. You should make sure that the website you are using is a trusted one. Look for the Padlock on the address bar to ensure the safety and security of the website.

For High School Students

The Internet is a great place for schoolwork, learning, and socializing. However, it is important that you stay on top of your information, know what you are giving out, and be conscious of what you are posting on the Internet.

Social media is a great way to interact with others and make connections. If used correctly, it can be a great asset to your future, and a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family. If used incorrectly, it can hurt your reputation and image. Listed below are some tips to help you stay on the right path.

You should:

  • Check all of your privacy settings. Make sure you are fully protected.

  • Interact with respected influential people whom you admire on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Think about admission to college; know that these schools have the potential to see anything you have posted.

  • Only post information that is useful to others and does not harm anyone.

  • Realize that everyone can see what you are writing. It cannot be removed from the Internet.

  • Be aware that future employers will check your social media sites.

  • Use social media to showcase yourself in a positive way, so that people respect you.

You should not:

  • Post inappropriate pictures or statements that could offend others.

  • Give out personal information such as your home address or telephone numbers.

  • Interact with people that you do not know.

  • Use profanity or inappropriate language; remember your pages are a reflection of you.

  • Interact with people who use social media for the wrong reasons.

Besides social media, the Internet can also open up other new and exciting opportunities. Online banking and shopping are great ways to manage money and purchase items without ever leaving your home. It is always important to be careful with your money!

Here are ways to keep your funds and identity safe online:

You should:

  • Use unique usernames and passwords for all of your login information.

  • Use websites that are secured, you can check this by looking for the “s” at the end of the “http” (https) in the URL address or a Padlock icon in the address bar.

  • Make sure your computer is properly secured with firewalls and anti-virus software.

  • Know your merchant, use trusted websites. Look for the Better Business Bureau seal of approval if you are unsure of the sites safety.

You should not:

  • Give out any bank information such as your debit or credit card numbers.

  • Use the same password for every website.

  • Shop on unknown sites.

  • Ignore warning signs of a virus or spyware.

  • Use open and unsecured WiFi networks when going on the Internet.

The use of cell phones and specifically texting has become one of the main ways that people communicate. It is important to realize that texting can be a hazard if a few simple safety precautions are not taken.

Texting while driving is a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie.

Texting While Driving Causes:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

Texting While Driving Is:
1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
3. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers

Texting While Driving:
1. Makes you 23X more likely to crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
2. Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
3. Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
4. Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society
5. Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road

These are some of the ways that you can improve your daily cyber activities. It is important to remember that the Internet is a public place; others can potentially see anything that you are doing or saying. Anything that you say or do will be somewhere on the Internet forever. Think twice before you contribute something online. You are always entitled to your opinion, and in most places, your opinion is encouraged - just make sure it is relevant and will not affect anybody negatively.

These tips were compiled by Stephen Karaolis, Hofstra Public Relations Intern