Because anyone can publish and communicate on the web it is necessary for you to protect yourself. This is not very difficult. Here are some simple things you can do:
Most Important! Never give out personal information about yourself or members of your family without your parents' permission. Why? Because criminals can use this information to harm you and your family.
What is Personal Information? Your name, address, phone number, school, picture, social security number, date of birth, e-mail address or credit card numbers.
Beware of Predators: There are criminals on the web that target children. They disguise their identity by pretending to be someone else when they e-mail or chat and they create web pages that appeal to children. Never arrange to meet someone that you have communicated with on the web unless you have your parents' permission.
Don't Catch a Virus! Computer viruses are programs that can damage the data on your computer. They can also hide in your computer to steal personal information like your passwords. Your computer can catch a virus when you copy files over the web from an infected computer (This is why we don't allow you to download programs to the library's computers). You can protect your computer by installing anti-virus software. Update this software regularly so that your computer does not get newly created viruses.
Protect Yourself from Hackers! Hackers are people who break into computer systems via the web to cause damage and copy information that can be used to steal money or goods. Install a good security system on your home computer to keep those hackers out.
Trust & Follow Your Instincts: This is one of the best ways to protect yourself. When you are searching and exploring the web you may accidentally find yourself in sites that are intended for adult viewing only. These sites may make you feel very uncomfortable. The best thing to do is to leave the site right away. You can do that by clicking on the BACK button or the HOME button.
Here is a link to an online safety pledge that you can print out and keep with you:
Ready to try your skills? Click here.