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Your Digital Kids:

Rules for Kids for Online Living

Published: March, 2005

If you wouldn’t shout it out in the streets, don’t write about it on the web. What you say on the Internet travels and takes on a life of its own. If you would not feel comfortable saying something that everyone you know could find out about, then don’t say it on the Internet.

Take 5. Read your mail or your IM before you press the send button. Are you comfortable with what you’ve said? If you’re angry or upset or you’ve said something that may come back to bite you, then take 5 minutes to reconsider.

Teach your skills to younger siblings and your parents. The Internet is complicated and changes quickly. You are at the cutting edge.

Don’t agree to meet anyone you’ve met online in the real world.

Don’t give out your name, address or any other revealing information including sports teams, school clubs, summer camps etc.

Look at email addresses and web urls carefully. People may not be what they seem and their email address or web urls may give them away. (Charles@hotmail) is not your Citibank.

Don’t forward any emails or IM that were meant for your eyes only. Respect other people’s privacy.

Don’t reply to spam mail, even when it asks if you want to be removed from the list.

Be careful downloading files and applications. Don’t download anything from the Internet without making sure it’s from a trusted source.

Google yourself to make sure that nothing turns up about you that is false or would embarrass you.

Know everyone on your buddy list. Sometimes friends share lists and you can find yourself with people you do not know on your list. Delete them.

Block annoying IM’s. Know how to block someone who’s bothering you on IM.

Keep Passwords private. : Don’t give them out — not even to your friends. Use passwords that aren’t obvious.

Don’t post profiles on IM services or on websites.

Report anything fishy to your parents or a trusted adult.

Do not steal music, movies or other intellectual property. This means stay aware from peer to peer networks that let you share illegal files. These files transmit computer viruses, can spy on your online behavior and most of all, they’re illegal and you could be responsible.

Use safety tools. Make sure your computer has antivirus software and a personal firewall installed. Keep tools current.

Robin Says: Remember: The The best safety tool you have is the one between your ears. Internet is a privilege. Abuse it and you’ll lose it.