Tips for Kids Online
1) Nicknames Save Lives
The internet can be a very dangerous place so avoid telling your real name to anyone online. Tell only your close friends who you are and if other people you don’t know begin talking to you start fresh with a whole new name.
2) Don’t give out any personal information
Never share any personal information without the permission of a parent. What ever you do – Do not tell anyone your age, your address, your phone number or where you go to school. Don’t tell people your parents work or where and avoid even giving your email address out if you can.
3) Don’t send pictures
Don’t send a digital picture of yourself to anyone on the Internet. And if someone asks for one tell an adult as soon as possible. Once you send a picture it is no longer under your control. Your pictures, even pictures that you have sent in “private” can be sent all over the internet or posted for literally millions to see within seconds. Also avoid using web cams. Thousands of webcam signals are high jacked everyday and sent to adult websites giving them access to your homes and lives.
4) Be kind
Don’t be cruel. And be careful with your jokes. Jokes can be very easily misread in print. Avoid telling or passing along rumors at all costs. Also avoid responding to cruel messages. If someone sends you a nasty message, tell an adult immediately. Every day thousand of kids are bullied or physically attacked because of messages sent online.
5) Don’t believe the hype
The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is” is still good advice. Many of these scams are designed to collect information on you and your computer.
6) Don’t meet strangers
If someone asks to meet you in person, say NO and tell your parents or teacher right away. The person you are chatting with may not be telling the truth; you could be talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. According to recent studies nearly 1/6 kids has been asked to meet with an internet friend with questionable motives.
Computer Safety Tips for Parents
Learn about the internet. Make sure you know as much or more about what your kids are into than they do. If you know the tricks of the trade your kids will be less likely and less able to hide things from you. Monitor your child and his or her activity – but remain respectful. You are there for safety not meddling.
Make sure that your kids have access to the internet if possible. The internet is am amazing tool, but it can be a dangerous one too. Make sure that your kids are visible. Kids are far less likely to engage in inappropriate behavior if they are out in plain view. Make sure to have your computer in an open area like the family room or kitchen area where you can periodically monitor what’s going on.
Talk to your kids about what they are doing online. Most people continually return to the same sites repeatedly. If you know where they are going, you can go there too and see what it’s like.
Check out all kinds of filtering tools and see what will work best for you. Also remember to check out your computer’s history from time to time and visit these sites as well.
Make sure your kids know what you are doing. Don’t hide your monitoring from them. Let them know exactly what you are doing and that you are just trying to make sure that they are safe. Most of all – if you want your kids to be trustworthy then be trustworthy yourself. Don’t go overboard!
Make sure your kids know never to give out personal information or meet anyone they talk to online.
Look out for inconsistencies. If your kids seem overly secretive or overly concerned about your little check ups then there is almost certainly something to be checked up on. If what your kids are doing is perfectly acceptable, they will normally be pretty open with you – as long as you’re not abusing their trust.
Want more information? Send an email message to the Youth@Dayspringchurch.ca or phone the church office at 435-3111.