When you are online, you can contact people all over the world. People who live in incredible places beyond your imagination or even in your own neighbourhood. This is what makes the Internet such a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, there are people who pretend to be someone else online, which can make what should be a fun experience dangerous. For this reason, we would like you to read and follow these 10 easy tips we have prepared, to make sure that you use the Internet safely and enjoyably.
1. Never use your real name in your username.
Can you think up a really creative username? We challenge you to do this! While online, strangers can find out a lot about you. For this reason, it is advisable not to include personal information in your username. We have some great ideas for you: You could use the name of your pet or perhaps the name of your favourite football player. There are many options to choose from; show us just how creative you can be!
2. Never reveal personal information while online.
What is personal information? Personal information is any information about you that a stranger could use to identify or even find you. When you are chatting online it is like talking to strangers but with one difference: you cannot see their faces! This is why we recommend that you NEVER give out information about your address, telephone number, age or name while online. You should never share information like the name of your school, your team, bank account details, personal ID numbers or credit card numbers; this will help protect all the people you know. Do not give out information about anyone. Remember that all this information is confidential, and we want you to keep it that way!
3. Your password should be secret! This means that only you should know it.
Do you have a hiding place for your personal belongings? We are sure you do. When you tell someone your password, it is like giving them your keys or showing them where your hiding place is. Someone who knows your password is one more person who can see your personal files online – it's better to keep them to yourself!
We know you do not like reading rules, but it is very important to do so, and we will explain why. A number of sites will only allow registered users to read messages and chats, or to view another user's web page. Other sites let anyone see whatever they want. No matter what your favourite type of site is, it is important to read the rules and try to find out how you can protect your information. You can read these rules alone, or perhaps with your parents or legal guardians in order to understand them better. The important thing is that you can choose the people who you want to see your personal information.
5. Do not share personal information online that you do not want anyone to see.
When you put your files and personal information online, you are allowing millions or perhaps trillions of people to see it. Unbelievable, right? Always bear in mind that everyone uses the Internet, including your grandparents and that irritating person you do not like (you know who!). If you want to keep your personal information and secrets to yourself, do not post them online.
6. When you put information online, there is no turning back!
Do you have a good memory? Because the Internet has a very good memory. This means that even if you are able to delete something you have posted or submitted online, people can often get an older version of the site hosting your files. This is why it is better to think twice before posting something on the Internet. We hope that you choose not to put your personal information online.
7. If you are not an adult, please do not post photos online.
People can find out exactly who you are just by taking a quick look at your picture. Remember that you have a secret identity, and we cannot let other people know who you are or what you are like. It would be even worse if somebody altered your photo, sent it to someone you do not know or posted it on another website without telling you. This could cause you problems! And nobody likes problems.
8. Do not download files you do not trust.
The Internet is awash with viruses that can harm your computer, change your applications and settings, and even send emails from your account to strangers. We recommend that you activate the warning system on your computer that will warn you about unsafe files before you open or download them. It is best not to open files sent by strangers.
9. Virtual friends should stay virtual.
The Internet is the perfect place to make many cool friends. However, some people can cause trouble for you or put you in uncomfortable situations. For this reason, it is best to keep all of your virtual friends virtual. If a virtual friend asks to meet you in person, tell an adult. If you eventually decide that you would like to meet your virtual friend in person, please go with your parents or legal guardians, or another adult you trust, but never go alone.
We have nearly finished!
And...10! If you do not feel safe, tell an adult!
Please tell an adult if you are being bothered by something or someone online that makes you feel uncomfortable. They can help you report this to the administrator of the website, or the police if necessary. Never forget that you are just one click away from switching off and leaving behind all of the things that are bothering you online. Taking action is the only way to avoid such situations and help others.
You can also talk to us. We are here to keep you safe. Please report any strange behaviour to us via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.Now, go and enjoy our site!