Tips for Students

There are a lot of terrific resources available to help you enjoy the Internet and all the great stuff technology puts at your fingertips. Unfortunately, you can get yourself into trouble and even dangerous situations if you're not smart about how you handle yourself. These are just a few ideas to get you started in thinking about how to avoid risky situations.

Ideas for Kids | Tips for Teens | Ethics

A Few Ideas for Kids

  • You've been told "don't talk to strangers." Well, people you meet on the Internet are strangers. Other than friends you know in "real life," people online are not your friends; you don't know them.
  • Never give out personal information about yourself or your family and friends, no matter how well you think you know your cyberpals - name, address, telephone number, where you go to school, even what city you live in. Don't send pictures of yourself either.
  • Never agree to meet an online friend in person. If someone asks to meet you, talk to your parents about it.
  • Don't lie about your age so you can go somewhere on the Internet that is for adults only.
  • Passwords must be kept secret from everyone but your parents.
  • If you get email from someone you don't know, don't open it - just delete it. If you get attachments from people you do know, always run them through an antivirus program before you open them.
  • Something you see on the Internet might make you uncomfortable or confused. Tell your teacher or parent right away.
  • Don't be a bully and don't accept bullying on the Internet. Be polite, kind and respectful. Tell your teachers or parents if someone is mean to you.
  • Never respond to messages that have bad words or are weird and scary.
  • Don't spend a lot of time on the computer. You need lots of other activities, exercise, and time playing with your friends to grow up healthy and balanced.
  • Grass is orange, cookies are good for you and I saw Elvis last week. Believe me? Don't believe everything you see on the Internet either. Just as in real life, on the Internet sometimes it is not easy to figure out if someone is lying to you or misleading you.
  • Don't do anything on the Internet that may cost money without your parent's permission. Never give out credit card information.
  • If you're upset or angry about something don't use the Internet to vent your feelings. Go to a friend, a relative or teacher you are comfortable talking to instead.

Some Tips for Teens

  • Did you know that colleges, universities and prospective employers are checking profiles and postings on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter? Also, even if you have configured your profile to be private, a skilled hacker can get behind that privacy screen.
  • Use hard to guess passwords and change them regularly. Don't share them with anyone, even your best friends.
  • Don't choose a screen name that includes part of your real name or could be considered provocative.
  • Never give out personal information about yourself, your family or your friends to people you meet online. Never give out information that would allow someone to find you off-line.
  • Never enter an area that charges for services without parental permission.
  • Be a cautious online consumer. Shopping online is easy and fun, but only shop at reputable, well known sites. Never give credit card information to a site that is not secure or trustworthy.
  • Before you open an email attachment from someone you know, run it through an antivirus program. Don't even think about opening an email or attachment from someone you don't know.
  • Use good sense and judgment - don't break the rules for someone and don't allow yourself to be taken in by people you meet on the Internet. Someone or something sound too good to be true? Probably is!
  • Let your parents or teachers know if you feel bullied, threatened or harassed in any way on the Internet. Do not reply to these types of attacks. If someone is bothering you, sign off.
  • If you become aware of dangerous behavior or threats made online, print the screen and tell an adult immediately.
  • Avoid Internet obsession. Maintain balance in your life - too much time online can mess up your real world social life and activities.
  • Don't believe everything you read online, be skeptical of advertisements, stories and promises and hold on to your sense of right and wrong.
  • Recognize that not everyone on the planet is a nice person - many of them are looking for ways of taking advantage of you and/or your wallet.

Ethics

  • You wouldn't walk into a store and steal a stack of CDs or DVDs, would you? Violating copyright laws is no different. Respect the creators of music, movies, games, software and other media by making legitimate purchases of these products.
  • Mind your manners and be nice. Don't be part of the problem by being a bully or participating in any sort of mean behavior.

CyberSafe information copied and used with permission from Boise School District

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