Helping Kids and Teens Stay Safer Online
Don’t unplug your common sense when you switch
on your computer…
The Internet’s exciting, useful and fun, and millions of young children and teens go online every day – and most are safe, most of the time.
But, just like in the real world, there’s stuff on the Web that you’d never want to see, and people you’d never want to talk to if you could see them. It’s very easy to hide the truth, or pretend to be someone else, on the Internet. So don’t fall for a pack of online lies or take any risks.
The best way to stay safe is to understand the dangers, and follow some common sense rules to keep out of trouble.
Be as careful online as you are out in the street. You’d never trust a complete stranger, or give them your personal details, would you? That means your name, address, school details, sports teams, where you hang out with your friends, or anything else that might identify you. The Web’s no different. And that goes for your friends’ and family’s details too – protect their privacy online at all times.
Don’t forget that you are ‘in public’ when you are on the Internet. Everyone can see what you post. So never publish anything online that you wouldn’t want everyone to see.
Cyber bullies are cowards who hide in chat rooms hoping to upset people by making offensive remarks. Or they could send you texts on your mobile phone, or nasty emails. Take yourself out of situations like this immediately. Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you react.
Chain letters can also be a form of bullying. Don’t ever send them on, just click Delete.
Mind Your Online Manners
Don’t be tempted to do anything that might hurt other people’s feelings and get you into trouble while you are on the Internet. Remember to respect other people’s privacy and mind your manners. You are responsible for your behaviour online.
Oldies but Goldies
It's important that you and your parents are on the same channel when it comes to the Internet. To avoid misunderstandings and problems, let your parents or carers know about your online world.
Make an agreement about how long you can stay on and what you do there. You’re not giving up your privacy; you’re just making life easier and safer for everyone. They’ll be more likely to trust you if you keep them in touch with your activities.
While you're at it, perhaps you can help your parents to understand the Internet better, by showing them what you use it for, and how helpful and fun it is.
The Internet Gets More Flexible
These days, the Internet isn’t just on computers. You can get online using your mobile, or even your games console, for competing and chatting with other gamers around the world. Remember, the same safety rules apply wherever you go online.