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Promoting Innovative, Positive and Safe Internet Use

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WISE KIDS Online Safety Tips for Children and Young People

(Click here to download a WISE KIDS Sample Internet Safety Agreement that you can use in your home, school or online centre)

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.

Be aware when choosing your chat username or email username not to pick a provocative name as you would be more likely to be sent provocative emails or harassed online.

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. Always check a website's privacy statement. Click here to see the WISE KIDS privacy statement. This describes what a website will do with your information.

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. 

Observe good net etiquette. See the WISE KIDS Guide to Net Etiquette.

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 to provocative, 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, not one built on hearsay. Click here to find out how to assess emails or website content.

When subscribing to public newsletters or programs like media plugins or downloads that require you to give out an email address, use a separate email address from your personal one. This will lessen the number of unwanted emails that you receive.

Be responsible and ethical when using the Internet whether at home or in a public online centre or cyber café, for e.g. not plagiarising information from the Net, using the computer equipment responsibly, not causing harm to others through your online activities.



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