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Internet Safety Tips

               Internet Safety Tips 

The Internet is a real community of people who are connected by computers, so treat people that you don't know on the Internet as strangers that you might meet in a street.
 
Do not give out any personal information related to your family, friends or yourself like full names, addresses, telephone or mobile numbers or those of your parents. Other information like the name and location of your school or details of school activities can also identify you to others, whether you are in a chat room, message board or newsgroup. Sometimes there are people who watch out for such information, and they can put together a picture of your activities over a period of time that could be several weeks. So be careful with what you say, and never give out your personal details. 
 
Never agree to meet someone whom you've met through the Internet, in real life without your parent's permission, and if they agree, never go alone, but go with a trusted adult. 
 
Use your common sense. Someone you are chatting to may not be who they say they are.
 
Do not fill out forms online without consulting your parents or teachers. There are websites which seek personal information and which use this information for marketing or other commercial purposes.  
 
Do not open an email from someone you do not know as you may download viruses (which even come from people you do know), or it may have contents that can upset you. Many chain emails or emails with virus warnings are hoaxes. Before you forward virus warnings to your friends and family, check that it is not a hoax.
 
Never send pictures of yourself or any other personal material to a friend you met online without consulting your parents first. 
 
Always tell your parents/teachers if you come across stuff on the Internet which makes you feel uncomfortable, or if someone on the Internet harasses you or threatens you.
 
Never respond rude, obscene or threatening messages (whether in chat, newsgroups or message boards) which make you feel uncomfortable. Tell your parents or teachers about such messages and where possible, save a copy of the message so that your parents or teachers can forward it to your Internet Service Provider, or use it to make a police report. 
 
Always assess the information you read on websites. Because its on the Internet does not mean that its always truthful information, especially when it comes to health issues, or when you are doing research for homework. Check that the website you are getting your information from is a reliable and reputable one.
 
Be responsible and ethical when using the Internet whether at home or in a public online center or cyber café, for e.g. not plagiarizing information from the Net, using the computer equipment responsibly, not causing harm to others through your online activities.
 
                                         Adapted from WISEKIDS.org