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Cyber tips for parents and children

A few tips to share with your kids from SafeCanada:


¥ Use a nickname. Never tell your real name to anyone on the Internet. Make up a special cyberspace nickname: be creative!

¥ Don't share personal information without permission from a parent. Don't tell anyone your age, your address, your phone number or where you go to school. Your passwords for websites and e-mail are also secret. Never tell your passwords to anyone.

¥ DonÕt send pictures of yourself to anyone on the Internet. Tell your parents or teacher if someone wants to send a picture to you.

¥ DonÕt be cruel to your CyberFriends. Never use bad words or say mean things. DonÕt tell rumours or lies about other people. If someone sends you nasty messages, tell your parents or teachers. ItÕs best to avoid chain letters and leave conversations when people are being rude.

¥ DonÕt meet or call anyone you meet on the Internet. If someone asks to meet you in person, say no and tell your parents or teacher right away. The person you are chatting with may not be telling the truth; you could be talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid.

¥ Tell an adult right away if you see anything on your computer Ð such as a message or a picture Ð that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable.

Some tips for parents from Cyberangels:

¥ Create a personalized online environment for kids by bookmarking acceptable sites.

¥ DonÕt rely on a program to do your job! Filtering and blocking programs can be a part of your Internet safety plan at home, but they donÕt take the place of a caring concerned parent.

¥ Be Pro-Active. Spend some time listening to and speaking with other concerned parents and your kids. Find out more about the issues.

¥ Participate with your child online. Get to know the services and programs your child uses Ð ask them to show you how their favourite chatroom works, or the online gaming that they participate in.

¥ Make a promise and keep it! Promise your children that you wonÕt get angry if they come to you with a problem about an online situation. Stay calm and remember that your child trusted you to help when they came to you Ð donÕt let them down!

¥ Plan ahead. Talk to your children about the things that they may encounter online. You donÕt have to scare them, but teach them that your values offline match your values online. Spend time using search engines with your children, and showing them how to be a discriminating surfer.

¥ Think "Mall". You wouldnÕt drop your child off alone in a mall, so don't drop them off online either. Keep an eye on them!

¥ Keep your computer in a "common" room where you can keep an eye on it! You wouldnÕt allow a stranger in the bedroom with your child, donÕt allow them in via computer either. Grant your children Internet access only when you are at home and awake. If they canÕt hang out at the park at 2 a.m., they shouldn't be surfing then either!

¥ DonÕt be afraid of your computer or the Internet, they are wonderful tools that can enrich the lives of every member of your family. Trust your instincts and jump right in. The more you know, the better you can protect your family.