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Safety on the Internet

Introduction

The Internet and online technologies, like mobile phones are magnificent tools to communicate, learn, play and be entertained by the contents from all around the world.

For many of us, the Internet and the mobile phone is our social lifeline. They are the media we used to engage with friends out-of-school hours and keep up-to-date.

Like communicating in the real world, risks exist when communicating online. Cyberbullying, identity thefts, scams and inappropriate contents are some the common risks.

How to Stay Safe on the Internet for young people:

  1. Never give out personal information, such as your name, home address or phone number, the name of your school etc.
  2. Do not meet in person with someone you met online.
  3. Do not give out your password to anyone, even your best friend.Be careful where you store password that you have recorded or write down.
  4. In chat rooms, use names that are not gender-specific so you are less likely to receive pornographic material or other forms of harassment.
  5. If you do receive pornographic material, inform your parents or trusted adults.
  6. Don’t share photos of yourself, your family, or your home with people you meet online.
  7. Never open e-mails that come from unknown sources DELETE them.
  8. If you receive mean or threatening comments online, don’t respond. Log off and report the activity to your parents.
  9. Nothing you write on the Web is completely private. Be careful what you write and to whom.
  10. When in doubt, always ask your parents for help. If you’re not sure, log off.

Tips for parents:

  1. Encourage your children to inform you if they encounter something on the Internet that makes them feel anxious, uncomfortable, or threatened. Stay calm and remind your kids it is OK to bring it towards your attention. Let them know you will work with them to help them resolve the situation positively.
  2. As soon as your children are using the Internet on their own, establish rules for Internet use. These rules should define whether your children can utilize social-networking sites and how they can operate them.
  3. The recommended age to sign up for social websites is usually 13 and over. If your children are under the recommended age, do not let them use the sites.
  4.  Evaluate the sites that your child plans to use and make sure both you and your child understand the privacy policy and the code of conduct. Also, review your child’s social-network page periodically.
  5. Teach your children never to meet any person that they’ve communicated via online only.
  6. Be wary of identifiable information in your child’s profile.Too much information can make your children vulnerable to cyberbullying, Internet predators, Internet fraud, or identity theft.
  7. Teach your children about cyberbullying.Tell them that if they think they’re being cyberbullied, they should share this information right away with parents, teachers, or any other adults that they trust.
  8. Encourage kids to communicate with other people online in the same way they would face-to-face. Ask kids to treat other people the way they would prefer to be treated.

If your children refuse to follow the rules you’ve set to help protect their safety and you’ve attempted to help them change their behavior, you can contact the social website your child uses and ask them to remove the page.

Last Reviewed : 07 Jun 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur a/p Basant Singh