As school starts back, students will be using the Internet for research and social networking. Below are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help students and their parents understand safe Internet use.
The Federal Trade Commission offers some tips and suggestions for teens regarding social networking sites:
- Do your homework. Research different social networking sites before deciding to join one. Some sites allow only a defined community of users to access posted material, while others allow complete access to everyone.
- Control the information you post. Restrict access to your page to only a select group of people, such as family, friends, or community groups.
- Keep personal information private. Never post your full name, social security number, address, phone numbers, or bank or credit card account numbers. Never post anyone else's information either. Never post personal information that could be used to identify you or your location.
- Do not create a screen name based on personal information. Do not use your name, address, age, or hometown to create a screen name.
- Use good judgment. Post only information you are comfortable with others seeing and knowing about you. Remember that everyone can view your information including parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, employers, and so on.
- Realize that information posted online is permanent. Even deleted information can be viewed through older versions that may exist on another computer.
- Be cautious about posting photos. Photos can be altered and broadcast in ways in which you have no control. If you do post a photo, make sure it is appropriate. Ask yourself if it is a photo your family would display at home.
- Trust your instincts if you have suspicions about someone online. If you feel threatened by someone or something online, tell a trusted adult immediately. Report it to the Web site and to your local police department.
For more information, click the links below:
I-Safe Pledge to Be Safe
I-Safe Tip Sheets
Internet Safety Brochure
Internet Terms and Definitions from I-Safe
Do you know who you're talking to?