Internet Safety Guidelines
FTC's OnGuard Online.gov
Did you know that your safety and the safety of your family, community and country depends on each individual internet user? That's you and me. Each person is responsible for their share of the chores and keeping themselves and their family safe. Lets say it's your turn to take the garbage out on Monday but you don't. If that garbage stays there till next Monday, it'll get a bit stinky besides attracting bugs and sickness. The internet is a tool that is used by connecting millions of individual computers. If the stinky garbage began in one computer and was not thrown out and cleaned, every time another computer touched the computer with the stinky garbage, it is taking the chance of getting sick and infecting others. Each family member is responsible for other family members. We teach and learn from each other. No one should expect a six year old to clean the entire house but a six year old can pick things up around their bedroom. The same with your computer and connecting to the internet.
Encourage each family member to follow the rules and guidelines for using the internet that your family has established. If your family has set no rules or guidelines for using the internet like they do for cleaning your room, taking out the garbage, or fire drills, suggest a family meeting to discuss this. Your safety, the safety of your whole family and your community depend on the people each family member allows into your home - through the doors and the computers.
Protect your passwords. Let your parent have a copy of your password list just in case you lose your list. But, don't tell your best friend, any friend or anyone you met online. Passwords are a secret between you, your parents and the websites where you use them. When you select your password, be sure that the letters and numbers do not make any sense and that you have a different password for each website. Don't use for a password words that tell something about you like your nickname, your favorite color, your pet's name or a word that describes you in some way. Make your passwords difficult for someone who knows you to figure out. (Example: x8h4p2)
Do not open any email attachments unless you confirm with the sender they actually sent the attachment. Print the list of infectious email attachments and subjects and keep it available by your computer.
Don't talk to strangers in your neighborhood or instant messaging. If you are old enough that your parents allow you in chatrooms, remember that even though persons are acting your age in the safe chatroom, they could be a bad person.
The following are some suggestions your family should discuss if you do not have family rules for using the internet: