Some Parent Internet Safety Tips:
1. Parents and guardians are encouraged to create an Internet Acceptable Use Policy and sign an agreement with their children about Internet use. Bullying.org Canada has examples of such contracts. It should be made clear that internet access is not a right; it is a privilege to be earned and honoured.
2. Keep the computer in an open, common area.
3. Inform your Internet service provider or cellphone service provider of any abuses.
4. Do not erase negative messages. Keep them if needed for future evidence.
5. Install filter software. Help is available from McAfee Parental Controls filter for both IM and chatrooms. Remember, no internet filters can only go so far. The only truly effective filter is awareness on the part of both parents and children.
Some Student Internet Safety Tips
1. Never arrange to meet someone you have met online unless your parents go with you. If you are meeting someone that you met online, make sure it is in a public place.
2. Never divulge personal information. This includes your name, names of friends and/or family, their addresses, phone numbers, school names (or team names if students play sports). Personal information also includes photographs and email addresses.
3. Don’t believe everything you read. Just because someone online tells you they are a certain age doesn’t mean it is true.
4. Use Netiquette (Internet Etiquette). Be polite to others online just as you would offline. If someone treats you rudely or meanly, do not respond.
5. Never send a message when angry. Wait until you have calmed down and had time to think before sending a message. Once you’ve sent a negative message, it is difficult to undo the damage.
6. Never open a message from someone you don’t know.
7. Use your judgement. If it doesn’t look or feel right, then it probably isn’t. You need to trust your instincts.
8. Get offline. On occasion, turn off, disconnect and unplug. Give yourself a break and spend time with your siblings and parents. Rather than virtual reality, why not try more actual reality?