The Internet is without a doubt one of the best resources available to us. Unfortunately it's also extremely dangerous if you aren't aware of who and what lurks behind the scenes. Everyone should know how to be safe when surfing the web, but internet safety tips and tricks are spread out all over the web without a go-to resource. Since the majority of internet scam and virus victims are students and young people, Open Colleges is a perfect place to post the very first full guide to being safe on the internet.
cyber bullying
"Cyber Bullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner." - Wikipedia


Whether it's posting public pictures, social statuses, or personal messages, cyber bullying takes many forms. The most popular cyber bullying tactics are:



Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language.
Joe and Alec's online exchange got angrier and angrier. Insults were flying. Joe warned Alec to watch his back in school the next day.


Repeatedly sending nasty, mean, and insulting messages.
Sara reported to the principal that Kayla was bullying another student. When Sara got home, she had 35 angry messages in her e-mail box. The anonymous cruel messages kept coming - some from complete strangers.


"Dissing" someone online. Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships.
Some boys created a "We Hate Joe" Web site where they posted jokes, cartoons, gossip, and rumors, all dissing Joe.


Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material to get that person in trouble or danger or to damage that person's reputation or friendships.
Laura watched closely as Emma logged on to her account and discovered her password. Later, Laura logged on to Emma's account and sent a hurtful message to Emma's boyfriend, Adam.


Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information or images online.
Greg, an obese high school student, was changing in the locker room after gym class. Matt took a picture of him with his cell phone camera. Within seconds, the picture was flying around the phones at school.


Talking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, then sharing it online.
Katie sent a message to Jessica pretending to be her friend and asking lots of questions. Jessica responded, sharing really personal information. Katie forwarded the message to lots of other people with her own comment, "Jessica is a loser."


Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group.
Millie tries hard to fit in with a group of girls at school. She recently got on the "outs" with a leader in this group. Now Millie has been blocked from the friendship links of all of the girls.


Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.
When Annie broke up with Sam, he sent her many angry, threatening, pleading messages. He spread nasty rumors about her to her friends and posted a sexually suggestive picture she had given him in a sex-oriented discussion group, along with her e-mail address and cell phone number.


Just a handful of the effects of Cyber Bullying include:

  • Undermining confidence
  • Causing stress and hurtful health effects
  • Affecting performance and attendance in school
  • Depression and a sense of loneliness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • But why are the effects so devastating?
    For one, cyber bullying material can be worldwide and is often irretrievable. Bullies can be anonymous, giving the victim a sense of helplessness.


    Contrary to popular belief, cyberbullying doesn't just happen to kids. Bullies on the web will look for almost anyone to harass, as long the bully has someone to pick on and an audience.
    While most cyberbullying takes place on instant messaging nowadays, kids are bullied almost anywhere in the virtual world.

    This includes: Chat rooms, video games, e-mail, blogs, and even over cell phones.

    Cyberbullying isn't just kids picking on other kids. If handled incorrectly, it can escalate from rude jokes and gossip to cyberthreats.

    Examples of these threats can include physical threats to others or be self-inflicted.

    A group of girls at his school had been taunting Alan through IM, teasing him about his small size, daring him to do things he couldn't do. They dared him to commit suicide. He discussed this with them. The girls thought it was a big joke.

    It's best to catch and prevent online bullying in its early stages, what may seem harmless at first can turn out to be much more.


    Common Cyberbully targets are kids in their pre-teen years.

    Online conflicts will sometimes start in the real world, a.k.a. schools, and then transfer into the virtual world. Bullying is pushed to the virtual world because cyberbullies are mostly, if not completely, anonymous.

    This gives the cyberbully the false idea that their actions have no repercussions. Now that more and more kids have cell phones, cyberbullying often takes place through texting and picture messaging as well.


    Cyberbullying is not to be handled lightly and can quickly become a serious problem. There have been many cases where cyberbullying has resulted in victims fearing for their lives and even committing suicide. There are specific actions that can actually cause a bully to break civil or criminal laws.


    In this case, a victim should try to resolve this problem by seeing a bully's parents or asking an attorney for advice on how to handle the situation.

    Someone publishes a false statement about a person that damages his or her reputation
    Invasion of privacy/public disclosure of a private fact.
    Someone publicly discloses a private fact about a person under conditions that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
    Invasion of personal privacy/false light.
    Publicly disclosing information that places an individual in a false light.
    Intentional infliction of emotional distress.
    Someone's intentional actions are outrageous and intolerable and have caused extreme distress.


    When a bully is accused of breaking criminal laws, they can be subject to prosecution and even arrest.

    Hate or bias crimes
    Making violent threats to people or their property.
    Engaging in coercion. Trying to force someone to do something they don't want to do.
    Making harassing telephone calls, sending obscene text messages, and stalking.
    Sexual exploitation and sending sexual images of children under 18.
    Taking a photo of someone in a place where privacy is expected (locker room, bathroom, etc.) and exploiting it on the internet.


    Luckily, there are practices you can put in place today to prevent cyber bullying from happening. Even though there's no "one size fits all" solution, here are some of the steps you can take:

    Tell someone.
    Just let a trusted adult know what's going on. The worst thing you can do is to keep it to yourself. Remember, it's not your fault!
    Don't instigate.
    If someone is sending you hurtful messages or posting mean pictures, they're doing it to get an emotional response from you. Don't give them one! Don't respond OR retaliate. This will only encourage them to take it further.
    Block them.
    If it's on Facebook or another website that allows you to block the person or leave the chat room, then do it!
    Be aware.
    If you're a parent, encourage your kid(s) to talk about what they're doing online and whom they're doing it with.
    Block them.
    The majority of cyber bullying occurs by someone you already know. These are also the people that are closest to you and your passwords, so keep them safe.
    Always log out.
    Especially on public computers.
    Don't be a cyber bully yourself.
    It's easy to be hurtful, so remember what it's like for the person on the other side.
    "Identity theft is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity" - Wikipedia


    While there are many ways for your identity to get stolen, the easiest way to become a victim of identity theft is by sharing personal information over the internet. If you aren't careful, criminals could steal your identity by finding any of the following:

    Social Security Number
    Credit Card Information
    Bank Account Number
    Personal Identification
    (driver's license, passport, etc.)
    Stolen Passwords


    The best way to make sure that your identity never gets stolen is to act right now and follow these steps to protect yourself before an identity theft attacks.


    Your password's job is to protect almost everything on your computer; this includes your personal information, important files, and items with sentimental value.

    Creating a strong password is an easy step that goes a long way. The lock on your front door is a complicated system of tumblers that isn't easily opened without a key. Like the lock, your password should seem complicated to others but simple to you.

    Following these steps will help you easily create a strong password:

    Use more than one password.
    Using the same password for multiple accounts is an easy way to lose everything you have. Use different passwords so that if one account is broken into, the others will stay safe.
    Be Relevant and Irrelevant.
    Make a password that you will recognize, but to others it seems random. Never use information that can be directly related to you in your password; like your name, social security number, address, etc.
    Use (not-so) random characters.
    A password that looks random to the naked eye is more than perfect. For example: MFCIB93 seems like a bunch of gibberish but is easily translated into: My Favorite Color Is Blue and the numbers could refer to anything, like your birth year.
    Length is important.
    The longer your password is, the harder to figure out what it is. This is the reason for a minimum character length on most websites that you have accounts on.
    Use the SUPR test.
    Strong Is the password strong? (make sure it's long and looks like random letters and numbers).
    Unique Is the password unrelated to your other passwords?
    Practical Can you remember it without having to write it down?
    Recent Have you changed it recently?


    Your credit report is an archive of all of your credit transactions. Reviewing it every now and then is an easy way to make sure there aren't any accounts or transactions that you are unaware of.
    If you are suspicious of an identity thief using your account, you can put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting one of these three credit reporting companies (U.S. residents only).

    Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
    Experian: 1-800-397-3742
    TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

    The fraud alert will make it hard for any identity theft to make any more transactions using your information. The alert lasts for at least 90 days and if need be, you can create an Identity Theft Report.


    An Identity Theft Report helps you fix any false accounts or transactions an identity thief might have made in your name. It will let credit card companies, debt collectors, and businesses know that recent purchases on your credit report were made by someone other than yourself.

    Some things that an Identity Theft Report is used for would be:

    Stop Debt Companies
    from trying to collect on fraudulent transactions.
    false accounts and transactions made from your credit report.
    the fraud alert on your account.
    your report to discover more about the identity thief.

    (IN THE U.S.)

    Submit an identity theft complaint to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

    • To do so visit,
    • Or call 1-877-438-4338

    Make sure to print a copy of your FTC Affidavit. This shows all of the details pertaining to your complaint and you will need a hard copy of it later. You can find the FTC Affidavit on the website above or, if you called the phone number, you can ask the FTC representative how to get a copy of it.
    Bring the FTC Affidavit to your local police station and file a police report. Don't forget to get a copy of the police report or the police report number. The FTC Affidavit and the police report together make up your Identity Theft Report.
    Send a copy of your Identity Theft Report to the companies where you filed for fraud. Now you can ask them to correct all of the false information found under your account.


    If you are a citizen of Australia and become a victim of identity theft, you will need to fill out a Commonwealth Victims' Certificate, which can be found here:

    Commonwealth Victims' Certificate


    Click here to verify and update your information
    While there are many online scams on the internet, phishing is one that is geared specifically toward retrieving someone's personal information and using it to harm them. An identity thief, known as the phisher, will lure victims using emails and websites that seem harmless or secure.

    Be careful when providing any personal information online.

    *You haven't. But you're lucky this time!

    Some common phishing messages would be:

    "During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."
    We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity."
    "Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund."


    YOU'VE WON!!! Redeem your prize before it's too late!
    Be on the lookout for suspicious looking emails. They will usually contain urgent requests for your personal information.

    Stay away from any phishy looking emails!

    *No actual scams here, but be careful!

    These steps will help you weed out emails that might try to steal your information:

    Phisher emails will typically ask for information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, etc.
    The emails will try to look official, replicating a bank or organization. Look for a digital signature if you are unsure if the email is real.
    Phishers try to get people to react immediately, so lure emails generally have upsetting or exciting, but false, statements
    Phisher emails usually aren't personalized, meaning they generally don't contain your name or other information. It's possible that they can be personalized, though, so if you are unsure of any email make sure to call the bank or company to be sure.


    Some easy ways to make sure you are never a victim to phishing are:

    Avoid filling out the information that the email asks you to give. Only give personal information through a secure website or over the phone.
    Never use the links in the email, instant message, or wherever you suspect someone might be trying to steal your information.
    Review your credit card and bank statements to make sure all of your personal information is correct. (Address, phone number, date of birth, etc.)
    Beware of false websites. Phishers are able to "spoof," or forge, a site into looking like a legitimate address.
    They can make the site look secure, including the "s" in https: at the beginning of the web address.
    Phishers can also fake the yellow lock found at the top of some secure web pages.
    Check to make sure you're on the right website. Just because the page looks familiar doesn't mean it's real.
    Good Address:
    Bad Address:


    If you ever come across an email that you believe to be a phisher email, forward the email to for U.S. citizens or for other countries. Also, you should email the company or bank that is being impersonated in the email, if that's the case. If you were the victim of a phishing attack, file a report with the FTC at

    To report any other scams fill out this form for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission:

    Report a scam to the ACCC (SCAMwatch)

    "Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and purloining and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work."
    - Wikipedia
    Plagiarism is such a dirty word, you spend your entire life hearing about how bad it is and all of the awful things that happen if you do it. In reality, your entire educational career is founded on some form of plagiarism. All of your research papers and presentation involve
    information that you learned from somewhere else. While directly copying someone else's work can land you in some serious trouble, paraphrasing and citing your sources will end up saving your life someday.

    Quick Examples of Plagiarizing

    Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks.
    Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation.
    Claiming someone else's work as your own.
    Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit.
    Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit.
    Having the majority of your work come from a specific source, whether you give credit or not.
    Misplacing a citation in your work.

    Plagiarizing is a very serious situation so before we get into safely using copyrighted works, let's go through some things that might happen if you directly copy another's work.

    Almost every school from high school to college has zero tolerance for plagiarism.
    Stealing someone else's work is called copyright infringement and depending on the circumstances you might end up in front of a judge and jury.
    Infringement penalties are very harsh, fines can be anywhere from $500 to $150,000 for each act of willful infringement.

    The seven categories that copyright law covers are:

    Literary works
    Both fiction and nonfiction, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, computer programs, manuals, phonorecords, film, audiotapes, and computer disks.
    Musical works
    and accompanying words, songs, operas, and musical plays.
    Dramatic works
    Including music, plays, and dramatic readings
    Pantomimed and choreographed works
    Like dances or routines in shows.
    Pictorial, graphics, and sculptural works
    Final and applied arts, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, technical drawings, diagrams, and models.
    Motion pictures and audiovisual works
    Slide/tape, multimedia presentations, filmstrips, films, and videos.
    Sound Recordings
    Tapes, cassettes, and computer disks.


    There are some sources that you can copy from without having to cite. This method of copyrighting is called fair use. There is a large gray area for which works fall under fair use, though.

    Here are a couple examples of things that are free to use:

    Works that lack originality (phone books).
    Works in the public domain.

    • The public domain contains creative works that aren't protected bay any copyrights and may be freely used by anyone.

    • Works end up in the public domain because:

    The copyright for that work has expired.
    The author failed to copyright their work.
    The work is owned by the Government.
    Any work published on or before December 31, 1922
    Freeware - Software found online that the author has chosen to make available to anyone without any restrictions
    Commonly known facts
    Ideas, processes, methods, and systems described in copyrighted works.


    Using copyrighted works for educational purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research also fall under fair use.

    These four standards determine if a work is being used educationally:

    Purpose of use:
    Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of an anthology.
    Nature of the work:
    For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable.
    Proportion/extent of the material used:
    Duplicating excerpts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair use.
    The effect on marketability:
    If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply. This is the most important of the four tests for fair use.



    An easy and foolproof way to safely use someone else's work is to cite all of your sources and quotations and then include a works cited at the end of your work. In a nutshell, your works cited is a brief description of where you got your quote. It includes information like the author's name, the work you used, the publisher, the date their work was created, and so on.

    The most popular examples of citation formats are as follows:

    APA (American Psychological Association)
    Zabar, A. (1989). . New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, Inc.
    CSE (Council of Science Editors)
    Muir, J, Armstrong L, Hillary E. 1998. Exploring San Luis Obispo and nearby areas: a guide to biking and hiking on the Central Coast. San Luis Obispo, (CA): SLO Going Press. 224 p.
    MLA (Modern Language Association)
    Hoffa, James. Solid Cement Mortuary Designs. New York: East River Press, 2009. Print.
    Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.

    The examples given above were citing books only. Citing works in medias other than printed in a book will look different but will follow the same structure.


    Parenthetical Citations are used in the middle of your work and are placed directly after a quotation. They refer to your works cited by briefly indicating which source that specific quotation came from.


    The St. Martin's Handbook defines plagiarism as "the use of someone else's words or ideas as [the writer's] own without crediting the other person" (Lunsford and Connors 602).

    Lunsford, Andrea, and Robert Connors. St. Martin's Handbook. 3rd. ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

    As you can see, the parenthetical citation always comes directly after the quoted material. It can contain the author's name, the page number from where the quote came from, or both.


    Paraphrasing is when you take in an outside source's information and put it into your work using your own words. All of the information will stay the same, but the sentence structure will change. Even though you aren't directly copying the author, you are using their information so you still must cite them.


    Original work "But Frida's outlook was vastly different from that of the Surrealists." (258) 

    Paraphrase As Herrera explains, Frida's surrealistic vision was unlike that of the European Surrealists. (258)

    Hayden Herrera, Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo (258)

    Because paraphrases don't quote the author directly and they are your own words, they do not need quotation marks.
    "A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly, but erroneously, used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have a reproductive ability."
    - Wikipedia

    First things first, always be careful when downloading files off of the internet and make sure you're downloading files from a trusted source. Viruses must be executed to have any effect on your computer, so there are a couple of file types that have no chance of containing a virus. These files are predominantly sound, image, and text file types.

    Some of these safe files include:

    The unsafe files that you do need to watch out for are as follows:

    These are just a few of the most common file types that viruses can be attached to. These file types are known as program files and they are able to activate or execute viruses that may be hidden in them. A virus cannot be activated just by downloading it though; it must be triggered by opening the program file.

    A full glossary and more information on viruses can be found at these locations:


    A Trojan horse is a file that is often confused to be a computer virus. While it is still harmful, it is not considered a virus because it does not spread from computer to computer. What a Trojan horse does do is disguise itself as another file, such as a computer game or a Word document, and then activates once you open up the file.


    Emails can contain harmful files, including both computer viruses and Trojan horses. Viruses found in emails can't harm your computer unless they are executed, or opened. As you can see there's a theme here, be smart when you download and only open files that you know are safe.


    The first and best step you can take to protecting your computer from viruses is to install an anti-virus program.

    You can find some of the top ant-virus softwares at these websites:

    Aladdin Knowledge Systems
    Phone: 1-206-524-9159

    Computer Associates International, Inc.
    Phone: 1-516-342-4100

    Phone: 1-972-855-7044

    Norman Data Defense Systems
    Phone: 1-703-267-6109

    Symantec Corporation
    Phone: 1-514-465-8420

    Norton Australia
    Phone: 1-877-484-9540

    Frisk Software International
    Phone: 354-540-7400

    Network Associates, Inc.
    Phone: 1-408-988-3832

    Panda Software
    Phone: 1-415-392-5950

    Trend Micro, Inc.
    Phone: 1-408-257-1500


    Update your software frequently.There are new types of viruses coming out every day and if your anti-virus program might not catch them if it's too old.
    Always be careful, even if you have an anti-virus software. It is common for some programs to miss Trojan horses so you watch out for suspicious files.
    Backup your computer regularly. This is a good habit to get into in case any fatal errors occur.
    Be aware of everything you download. This task might seem mundane but it's one of the most important steps you can take.
    Scan any new files you may download. You can perform a virus scan with your anti-virus software as an extra protection measure.


    Before you do anything, make sure your computer isn't having minor malfunctions. Try restarting or powering down your computer before taking any anti-virus measures, if the problem persists follow these steps:
    Relax, making any rash decisions can land you in even more hot water. Don't continue to use the computer if you feel that you cannot handle removing the virus, it's just not worth it.
    If you haven't downloaded an anti-virus program, do that first. The software will contain instructions on how to clean up your computer.
    Disconnect your computer from the internet and all devices that it shares with. This will stop the virus from spreading further.
    Hopefully, you've created backup files for your computer. Use those backups to restore the files that have been infected. Before restoring make sure the backups weren't also infected.

    It's always good to be cautious while on the internet. There are people in the cyber world who want to do harm to you or your computer.

    These are some good tips to keep in mind while you are surfing:

    Be careful about what you put on the web.
    It's on there forever and can be used to trace back to you at any time.
    Keep track of who you interact with on the internet.
    Some people may not be who they seem to be.
    Know that privacy is just an illusion.
    Even personal information on social networks can be easily recovered by anyone.
    Don't open any links in emails or chat rooms that look suspicious or unfamiliar.
    Also, never open any strange files that your computer may have downloaded from an email or a website.


    The best way on the internet to keep in touch with friends, sharing pictures and memories, and meet new people is by using a social network.

    Some of the most popular social networks as of today are:

    Social networks are great, but just like everything else on the web, you need to be careful when using them. What you put on your social networking site defines you. Anyone and everyone on the web will be able to see what you put up. Always think before posting a status or picture that might come back to haunt you.


    It may be unnerving to hear this but you virtually have no privacy on a social network. By joining Facebook, you agree to their Terms of Use that state that they have the right to use any, or all, of your personal information to sell to companies for their marketing schemes. Not to mention people with malicious intent can view any information that you post.

    Anyone viewing your information can use it for:

    Advertising to you personally on
    Use your email to put you on mass emailing lists.
    Stalking, if your address or physical location is posted.



    The internet is a fun place to be, but it can also be dangerous. Follow these steps to safely have fun on the web!

    Always ask for your parents' permission before going online.
    Never talk to anyone online that you don't know.
    Tell your parents if anyone ever asks to meet you somewhere.
    Don't let anyone know your name, phone number, address, or any other personal information.
    If you find yourself on a website that you don't think you should be on, you should exit the page.
    Keep pictures of yourself off the internet unless it's ok with your parents.
    Be respectful of other people on the internet and never say anything mean.

    (Answers found after quiz)

    "Jimmy" writes to you from a chat room:
    "Hi -- my name is Jimmy -- I live in Santa Barbara, and I'm 9. I love to swim, but I can't use the pool right now, even though the weather is great (I live in California) because I have the measles. I have a pet lizard named Nelix. What's your name? Do you have any pets? Where do you live?"

    You should:

    Tell him your name and the name of your pet and where you live, because he seems really friendly, and he's sick.
    Give him only the same information that he gave to you in his message.
    Tell him that you aren't allowed to give out personal or identifying information.
    You just told "Jimmy" that you can't give out personal information. "Jimmy" writes back to you:
    "Aw, come on...those rules are just for babies. I stopped following those stupid rules ages ago. Anyway, what are you afraid of?"

    You should:

    End the conversation without replying to his message, and tell your parents about the conversation.
    Tell him that you're not a baby, and that he isn't being very smart if he isn't following the online safety rules.
    Tell him that you're sorry you made him mad, and answer his questions.
    You met "Jenny" through a chat room a couple of weeks ago, and after talking to your parents, they gave you permission to tell Jenny what city and state you live in. It turns out that Jenny lives in a nearby town in the same state. "Jenny" sends you the following message:
    "Hey -- guess what? My birthday is two weeks from now, and my mom says I can invite a couple of friends over for cake and ice cream. Can you come? I'd really love it if you canů I really, really want to meet you, 'cause we like so many of the same things. My mom can even come to pick you up!"

    You should:

    Tell her that you can't wait to meet her too, and give her your address so that her Mom can pick you up.
    Tell her that you hope she has a great birthday, but that you and your parents have safety rules for meeting an "online buddy" for the first time.
    Tell her you'll ask your Mom or Dad, and if they say yes, that you'd love to come.
    You didn't attend "Jenny's" birthday party, but your parents did arrange a supervised meeting with "Jenny" and her "mom", which is supposed to take place the following week at the local library. One week before you meet, Jenny emails you a digital copy of her class picture, and says:
    "How do you like my picture? Now you can recognize me when we meet at the library! Could you send a photograph of you, too, so that I'll know what you look like? I'm really worried that we won't recognize one another."

    You should:

    Tell her you're looking forward to meeting her too, and email her a recent picture.
    Tell her you'll get back to her with your answer later, and ask your parents whether or not you can send her a picture.
    Tell her that you don't have a digital picture to email to her, but that you'll send her one through the regular postal mail.
    You are chatting online with "Jimmy" and "Jenny" when "Sammy" joins your chat room. Sammy uses a swear word, and when "Jenny" tells him he should not use words like that online, "Sammy" starts writing things that are mean and insulting to you and your online buddies.

    You should:

    Defend yourself and your online buddies by insulting "Sammy" right back!
    Ignore "Sammy" and hope that he will get bored and leave the chat room.
    End the conversation, and tell your parents.
    1. C / 2. A / 3. B
    4. B / 5. C


    The internet is the one of the best resources for learning and entertainment and your children have it at their fingertips! It's important for you to teach them to use the internet because they're going to be using it for the rest of their lives.

    Some tips to help your child surf the internet safely are:

    Monitor the sites your child goes on before allowing them to surf freely.
    Create rules for the internet. Your child needs to know what's OK and what's not OK in terms of what they can do on what sites.
    Rules like:

    • No talking to strangers.

    • No giving out personal information.

    Look for a privacy policy on the sites your child visits.
    Build your child's confidence. They should know how to use the internet and like using it!


    Unfortunately, there are dangers when it comes to the internet and kids. Your child's safety might be in danger if one or more of the following happen:

    Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night
    You find pornography on your child's computer
    Your child receives phone calls from people you don't know.
    Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages form someone you don't know.
    Your child turns the monitor off or changes the screen quickly when you walk into the room

    If you suspect your child is communicating with an online sexual predator you should:

    First, talk to your child openly about it. Tell them you're worried and have a conversation about online safety.
    Review what is on your child's computer, either through the history or by other means.
    Check the caller ID to make sure your child hasn't been calling any numbers you don't recognize.
    Monitor any chat rooms or instant message websites your child has been using.

    If you find evidence that your child HAS been communicating with a sexual predator immediately call the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.