Safety Tips for Internet Usage

  • Using the Internet in a safe manner: Tips for parents
      • It is wiser to inform your child about hidden dangers on the Internet and how to be protected by them rather than discourage your child from using it.
      • Keep the computer in a family room not locked away in a bedroom.
      • Advise your child not to provide personal information (name, address, phone number, photographs, etc) to strangers it meets online.
      • Be particularly careful when your children uses chat rooms unsupervised. Do not allow your children to ever meet anyone they have contacted online.
      • Encourage your children to visit websites of educational and entertaining content appropriate to its age.
      • Install filter software that blocks the access to inappropriate websites on the Internet.
  • Using the Internet in a safe manner: Tips for children
      • Do not share your email password with anyone. If you suspect that someone knows your password, change it immediately. Try to always register a password that nobody may guess.
      • Never accept to meet individuals that you got to know online. If you wish to do so, make sure it is in a public area and that you are accompanied by one of your parents or an adult you trust.
      • While in a chat room be particular careful and do not share your personal details (such as your email address, your home address, your school address or your telephone number with the people you chat with.
      • Try to avoid visiting websites that are meant for older individuals (18+). These warnings are there to protect us. It is wiser to discover websites of educational, entertaining and informative content that corresponds to your age and interests.
      • It is very important not to open emails you have received by strangers. Do not open attachments that were sent through such messages as they may contain viruses and spread in your computer. Ask your parents to install software that filter the emails you receive so you may get only those you wish.
  • Using a mobile phone in a safe manner
      • You should be very careful to whom you give your phone number to. There is a danger of receiving unwanted calls and messages.
      • You should always keep your phone under your surveillance. You should avoid giving it to third parties unless it is compulsory and only when you are present.
      • You should avoid meeting someone you got to know over the phone.
      • Use your mobile phone only to get in touch with someone and not to send annoying text messages. How would it make you feel if you received such messages?
      • If you receive anonymous text or picture messages in your mobile phone, delete them without replying.
      • To take a picture of other people you need to ask for their permission first. Be careful when uploading photographs on the Internet as they may stay there forever and they may be used in a manner you did not mean to.
  • Using social network sites in a safer manner
      • You should not share your profile password with anyone. Whoever gains access of this password can fully manage all the data included in your profile.
      • Do not upload photographs that your location is clear (especially if this is your home, your school or places you hang out). In this way you minimise the possibilities someone to detect your location in the natural world.
      • If you receive an offensive or unwanted message, report it to the social network site you use or to SafeLine. Usually there is a “report” button.
      • Always keep in mind that information you publish on the social network site are widely accessible and so it would be wise not to share details and photographs that could embarrass you. Even if you decide to delete information from your profile, these are not removed and you may come across them elsewhere.
      • Be aware that when you access a friend request, this person gains access to all the personal information that are shown in you profile including your photographs and contact details.
      • After you create your profile you should change the default settings that manage your data. Usually these are marked as privacy settings.
  • Using virtual games on a safe manner
      • Parents should become familiar with the virtual world site (i.e. services and products offered by virtual worlds sites) and have a good understanding of how children spend their time online.
      • The email address used to activate a child‘s account should always belong to a parent, not to the children.
      • Verify if the virtual world used by your children has a parental control or any other Internet filtering tool, and make sure such tools are activated.
      •  Usually age is verified when purchase of merchandise is possible, but there is currently system to guarantee age verification.
      • Use tools to block access to undesirable websites.
      • Be aware that parental consent should be required to process sensitive personal data, access chat room, send unsolicited commercial e-mails and similar, communicate with children via mobile phone, collect data from the children via the web, use children‘s data for any direct marketing. Exercise options carefully.

Source: www.saferinternet4kids.grENISA (http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/ar/deliverables/2008/children-on-virtual-worlds)

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