You Should Know for Parent and Kids

Parents and kids should be aware of the follow:

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is just what it sounds like - bullying through Internet applications and technologies such as instant messaging (IM), social networking sites, and cell phones. It can start easily—with a rumor, a photo, or a forwarded message—and just as easily spiral out of control. An embarrassing video posted to a social networking site by someone in Kansas tonight may be watched by someone in Japan tomorrow. Cyberbullying victims may be targeted anywhere, at any time. More...

Common Forms of Cyberbullying

  1. Flaming and Trolling – sending or posting hostile messages intended to “inflame” the emotions of others
  2. Happy-Slapping – recording someone being harassed or bullied in a way that usually involves physical abuse, then posting the video online for public viewing
  3. Identity Theft/Impersonation – stealing someone’s password and/or hijacking their online accounts to send or post incriminating or humiliating pictures, videos, or information
  4. Photoshopping – doctoring digital images so that the main subject is placed in a compromising or embarrassing situation
  5. Physical Threats – sending messages that involve threats to a person’s physical safety
  6. Rumor Spreading – spreading gossip through e-mail, text messaging, or social networking sites

Social Networking (Chat Room “Netiquette”)

  1. If someone is acting like a jerk at a gaming site or in a chat room, ignore them or log off.There's no point in giving them any attention, or speak to your parents about what needs to be done to make you feel safe.
  2. When using social networking sites or IMing, treat others well. Gossip, sarcasm, and criticism hurt just as much online as in person.

Safety First

  1. Never give out personal information - your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, credit card numbers, school name, or parent's names.
  2. Check photos and videos to make sure you're not accidentally sharing information that would make you easy to track down.Background details like sports uniforms, well-known landmarks, and street signs can provide clues that might allow you to be located by untrustworthy or malicious people.
  3. Private Facebook networks can introduce you to people you meet through friends you know, but never arrange to meet with a person you've only contacted online.

Identity Theft and Fraud

  1. Don’t respond to phishing scams- those that require you to provide private information to take advantage of a supposedly great opportunity. Reputable banks, online payment services, or stores don't request personal information through e-mail. Just delete e-mails from strangers or those with suspicious looking attachments.
  2. Don’t shop online without your parent’s permission, and when you do get permission, only purchase from well-known retailers who have secure sites for protecting credit card information.

A Word About Your 15 Minutes of Fame

The thing about the Internet is that once something is posted, it can be saved or printed by others so whether you or someone else is posting information or images of you online, there is no guarantee that it won’t come back to haunt you later in life.

Sure, today you might not be planning to become a movie star, contestant on American Idol, or politician, disgraced by a racy photo that was posted as a joke years earlier, but that doesn’t mean that 10 years from now you want to be reminded of that time that you bared a little more of your of soul or body, or insensitive jokes online, than you should have. As well, remember that potential employers, colleges, and scholarship committees can search you online as easily as your best friends can. Make sure they'll like what they see.

Remember There’s Life Offline Too!

Balance your online life with in-person relationships and activities. Spending time blogging, updating your profile, and e-mailing new friends can suck up huge amounts of time. Keep plenty of space in your life for your family, school, activities, and friends you can see face-to-face.

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