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Suzannah, They are still pretty small but I found some great tips FOR KIDS from ACS (Army Community Service)!
From Suzannah, “How do you keep your girls safe on the Internet?”
A guide to help military kids be smart and stay safe online
The Internet can be a great place for you to have fun and learn. It is also a great way for you to stay in touch with friends and family. But there are some bad people on the internet that want to hurt kids and their family members in the military. It is very important for you to be smart and safe when you use the internet. This guide will give you some tips on what you should and should not do online.
CHAT ROOMS -If it’s ok with your parents, chatting in chat rooms can be a fun way to talk to other kids who like the same kinds of things that you like. Chat rooms usually have a subject, like favorite music, or favorite movie, or favorite hobby. There are even special chat rooms for military kids.
If you’re going to chat, keep a few simple Dos and Don’ts in mind.
- Do get permission from a parent.
- Do chat only in chat rooms meant for kids.
- Do pick a screen name that doesn’t tell your real name.
- Do leave the chat room and tell an adult if anything makes you uncomfortable.
- Don’t give out any private information.
- Don’t click on any links in chat rooms
- Don’t reply to an instant message from anyone who is not a face to face friend.
- Don’t agree to meet anyone face to face.
INSTANT MESSAGES -Being a military kid can sometimes mean that you have to move and leave your friends behind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay friends. Instant messages can be a fun way to talk to your face-to-face friends and family members, especially when they don’t live close to you anymore.
- Always get permission from a parent, and only talk to people you know face to face.
- Pick a screen name that doesn’t tell your real name.
WEBCAM CHATS- Webcam chats can be a great way to talk to your mom or dad when they are deployed and can’t actually be with you. This way, you can see each other, tell each other about your day, and even ask for help with homework! It’s almost like your deployed parent is right there with you.
Just keep a few smart safety rules in mind.
- Only a grown-up can turn on your webcam.
- Only connect to people you know in real life, like family or face-to-face friends.
- Only webcam chat when a grown up is around.
- Family members
- Friends from school
- Friends from Church
- Friends from military kids groups
- Friends from places you used to live
- Other face-to-face friends
WHO I CANNOT TALK TO
- Someone who says they know your mom or dad.
- They might not be telling the truth.
- Someone who says they are a famous person, cartoon character, or movie star. (They might not be who they say they are)
!Remember, you don’t talk to strangers at the playground or at the mall, and you shouldn’t talk to them online either.
WHAT CAN I PUT ON MY PROFILE? You’ll find many cool websites that ask you to join the fun and create an online profile with information and pictures about you. Or you might find a website where your favorite cartoon character asks you for your email address and phone number.
!Remember, Anyone online can see this information, even strangers! So it is important to know what is OK to tell or show people and what’s private.
IT’S OK TO TELL…
- Your hobbies
- If you’re a boy or a girl
- Your favorite bands, books, movies, sports, or TV shows
- Your favorite Websites
- How many pets you have
- Your favorite food
- Your full name
- Your mom or dad’s full name
- Your email address
- Your home address and phone number
- The name or location of your school
- Your birthday
- Your passwords
- If your mom or dad are deployed
- Where your mom or dad are deployed
!Remember: If you’re not sure if something is private, ask a parent or trusted adult. Don’t post something unless you are sure it’s OK.
- Your pets
- Pictures of places you have visited
- Pictures from books, movies, or TV shows you like
DON’T SHOW PICTURES OF…
- You or your family members
- Your house
- Your school
- Valuable things you own
- Valuable things in your house
EMAIL SAFETY- Everyone likes getting messages, but not all messages are meant for kids. Even if they come straight to your email box, they might not be meant for you. Anyone who has your email address can send you a message, so you have to be smart and safe when opening emails.
- Viruses: Bad people can send viruses through email to infect and destroy your computer or steal your private information. Don’t open it.
- Spam: Companies can find your email address and send you messages trying to sell something. These emails are sent to thousands of people, and you just happened to get one. Don’t open it.
- Cyber-bullying: Just like there are bullies at school that like to hurt your feelings, there are bullies online. Sometimes they send mean messages that can be embarrassing, mean, or scary. If you get a message like this, don’t respond and tell an adult.
- Don’t open messages from people you don’t know.
- Do only open and read emails from people you know and trust.
- If you open a bad email by mistake, don’t click on links or download files in the email. It could be a virus.
- Don’t reply to emails from people or companies you don’t know. It could be spam.
- Don’t respond to email that asks you for private information.
- Don’t tell anyone private information about your parents or their deployments.
- Don’t send pictures of yourself or your family to anyone you don’t know, even if they seem alright.
- Do tell an adult if you receive an unsafe or cyber bully email.
- Don’t respond.
- You show a picture of yourself? A bad person could recognize you and find you at school or on the street.
- You put full name and address on your profile? A bad person could find your house and rob it or hurt you and your family.
- You tell people in a chat room or post on your profile where your mom or dad is deployed? A bad person could use that information to hurt your mom or dad.
- You click on a link in a chat room or in an instant message from someone you don’t know? It could take you to a bad Website that is not for kids, or it could download a virus to hurt your computer.
The Internet can be a lot of fun if you… to be SMART and stay SAFE online!
What are YOUR tips for keeping kids safe online?
Live, Love & Learn,
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