Staysafe.org Website

posted: March 26th, 2006 | by: Administrator

Staysafe.org is a website about online safety for kids and teens. It is supported by a large group of collaborators, including Microsoft, SafeKids.com, iSafe, Net Family News and others. The site also provides resources about online safety for parents and teachers.

Staysafe.org for Kids has online games, a virtual community and interactive activities, which are age-appropriate for elementary students. The site provides online safety guidance through engaging web-based activities.

Staysafe.org for Teens is an upbeat and newsy site. The “What’s Hot” area describes the latest issues affecting teens and their friends in the Cyber World. The “Give and Take” area is a series of articles that examines an online safety issue from multiple/different points of view. The “411” area provides information on a variety of online safety topics, including PC security, protecting personal information, online predators and bullies, and issues with file sharing.

The site is nicely designed, well-supported and provides an excellent resource for kids, teens, parents and teachers to learn more about web safety.

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Safety Lessons by the Media Awareness Network

posted: February 18th, 2006 | by: Administrator

Kids need to understand the unique nature of the Internet.  They also need to develop critical-thinking skills — to protect their personal privacy and safety online.  It is important to teach them to distinguish between fact and opinion,  and to recognize online hate if they encounter it.   

The Media Awareness Network has created educational games and interactive student modules (complete with extensive Teacher’s Guides) to help kids to develop these skills. MNet is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996.

The games are:

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Security Tips for Students

posted: November 16th, 2005 | by: Administrator

Posted on Microsoft’s Home Security Child Safety Page

1. Perform basic computer safety maintenance

Before surfing the Web, you should perform three key maintenance steps to help improve the computer’s security. Visit our Protect Your PC section and follow the steps online to:

* Use an Internet firewall.
* Update your computer.
* Use up-to-date antivirus software.

2. Don’t open files from strangers

E-mail and instant messaging (IM) are two quick ways to communicate with friends, classmates, and family. E-mail and IM can also spread viruses and worms if you aren’t careful. Did you know that most e-mail viruses are spread by people who are fooled into opening an infected file? Don’t be tricked! You should never open a file attached to an e-mail or an instant message unless you recognize the sender and you are expecting the file. For more articles on helping to avoid viruses and worms, visit Help Prevent Viruses. For tips on safer IM, read Instant messaging safety and privacy tips.

3. Help fight spam and online scams

As long as you’re helping to prevent viruses and worms, you may as well learn how to help fight spam and online scams. To find out how you can spend more time on schoolwork and fun, and less time on deleting spam, read How to prevent spam e-mail from reaching you and Spam dos and don’ts: What to do with spam e-mail.

Phishing is another threat to your privacy that could lead to the theft of your credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal data. To learn how to help protect your personal information from identity theft, read Help prevent identity theft from phishing scams.

4. Learn how to protect yourself from spyware

Has your Web browser been taken over by pop-up ads? Are there toolbars on your computer that you don’t remember downloading? You might be the victim of spyware. Spyware is software that collects personal information from you without first letting you know what it’s doing, and without asking for your permission. You might get spyware if you download: music or file-sharing programs, free games from sites you don’t trust, or other software programs from a suspicious Web site. To learn some of the warning signs of spyware, help avoid infecting your computer with spyware, or remove it if your computer has already been infected, start by reading What is spyware?

5. Take precautions when you go wireless

Many high school and college campuses now have wireless networks. That means you can surf the Web in the library, cafeteria, or a classroom. You may have already used wireless networks in your home, in airports, coffee shops, or even public parks. These networks are convenient, but they do come with a security risk. If you set up your own wireless network at home or in your dorm room, read Protect Your Home Network and pay special attention to the section on wireless network security. Also read Use public wireless networks more safely to get 3 more tips on WiFi security.

6. Password protect your computer—and lock it

Passwords are the first line of defense in protecting your computer from criminals, pranksters, or a careless roommate. If you don’t use a password to log on to your computer, anyone can access your computer and unlock it. Use our tips for building better passwords now, and be sure to lock your computer when you’re not using it. (To “lock” your Windows computer, hold down “Windows logo key + L.” Follow the instructions on the screen to unlock your computer when you’re ready to use it again)

7. Back up your work (and the fun stuff, too)

The image of students losing their term papers because they forgot to back up their work has almost become a cliché. Still, many of us don’t have the time to back up.

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Study Shows Teens Love for Digital World

posted: November 12th, 2005 | by: Ken

The Pew Internet Report released a study that took a close look into the world of teenagers and how they interact with the online world. This report shows that over half of online teens have created content for the Web, and that downloading music for free is easy and unavoidable.
Now, I’ve said here many times […]

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Internet Safety Tips for Kids

posted: November 10th, 2005 | by: Administrator

There are some very important things that you need to keep in mind when you’re on your computer at home or at school.

* First, remember never to give out personal information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number in a chat room or on bulletin boards. Also, never send a picture of yourself to someone you chat with on the computer without your parent’s permission.

* Never write to someone who has made you feel uncomfortable or scared.

* Do not meet someone or have them visit you without the permission of your parents.

* Tell your parents right away if you read anything on the Internet that makes you feel uncomfortable.

* Remember that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that “she” is a “12-year-old girl” could really be an older man.

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Bird Flu Migrates to the PC

posted: November 9th, 2005 | by: Ken

Hackers are capitalizing on the fear people have over the bird flu. By disguising themselves as useful e-mail messages, they lure computer users into downloading documents containing important information about the bird flu.
With subject lines that read “What is avian influenza (bird flu)?” or “Outbreak in North America”, the e-mails are hard to ignore. Once […]

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Using Throw-away E-mail Addresses

posted: November 8th, 2005 | by: Ken

I’ve been using an online service for the past few weeks that allows me to generate an e-mail address on the fly. It’s called GishPuppy.
Let’s say you’re registering for a site or making a purchase and you really don’t want to get stuck on another e-mail list. Just right-click and “Gish It!” to create a […]

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“Do List” for Kids on the Internet

posted: November 8th, 2005 | by: Administrator

DO:

1. DO use the Internet to help with schoolwork. The Internet is a source of great volumes of information. It’s like having the world’s largest library at your fingertips! Some good sites to check out:

A. B.J. Pinchbeck: Homework Helper Page.

B. To e-mail questions to experts, click on NJNIE Project: Ask An Expert Page.

C. PITSCO: Ask An Expert.

2. DO use the Internet to “visit” museums in far away places. Some examples are:

A. The Louvre, Paris, France.

B. The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California.

C. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC..

3. DO use the Internet to meet children in other countries or to keep in touch with pen pals who live far away in this country or other countries.

Some on-line services host chat rooms especially for children, and monitor them periodically for safety. You can safely establish an international mail pen pal through an existing program sponsored by your school, and then expand your pen pal communications to the Internet if your pen pal has access to Internet e-mail at his or her school or a nearby university.

4. DO be careful about talking to “strangers” on a computer network. Who are these people anyway? Some people say and do things which are NOT NICE.

5. DO use the Internet to learn more about universities and colleges that you may be interested in attending. Almost all colleges post some information on the Internet. Many colleges let you take a “virtual tour” of the campus, or submit applications for admission or financial aid applications on line. To find a college web site click on the Alphabetical Listing of College and University Home Pages. Morterboard (graduation cap)

6. DO respect the privacy of other users on the Internet, just as you expect your privacy to be respected. How would you feel if someone read your private e-mail or your grades?

7. DO be careful when you “download” (copy) programs from the Internet. Use a virus scan program before loading it on your computer. Some programs on the Internet contain viruses that can harm your computer.

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“Don’t List” for Kids on the Internet

posted: November 7th, 2005 | by: Administrator

DON’T:

1. DON’T give your password to anyone. Passwords are intended to protect your computer and your files. It’s like giving the key to your house away! Computer with password on screen

2. DON’T answer messages that make you feel uncomfortable because they seem improper, indecent, or threatening. TELL A GROWN-UP RIGHT AWAY.

3. DON’T give any personal information, such as your family’s address, phone number, credit card or calling card numbers, your school’s name, or your picture to anyone on a computer network that you don’t personally know.

4. DON’T arrange to meet anyone you’ve met on the Internet without telling your parents. Some people on the Internet lie about who they are, how old they are, and why they want to meet you.

5. DON’T try to break into computers. It’s not a game. It’s a crime and it’s an invasion of privacy. Computers often contain sensitive information. How would you feel if someone broke into a computer and changed your grades? Deleted your term paper? Cut off your telephone?

6. DON’T steal copyrighted computer programs (”software”) by copying it from the Internet. This is the same as stealing it from a store. People work hard to develop new programs and deserve to be paid for them. If software designers don’t get paid for their work, they can’t continue creating new software, such as new educational games or tools that help with schoolwork.

7. DON’T make copies of any copyrighted material, like books, magazines, or music without the permission of the author, publisher or artist. Copyrighted works are available (usually illegally) on the Internet. You are committing a crime if you copy and distribute them.

8. DON’T copy material that you find on the Internet and pretend that it’s your own work. It’s the same as copying a book or magazine article and pretending that you wrote it. It’s easy to get caught. Remember, your teacher and thousands of other students have access to the same material.

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Tips to Protect Children and Students

posted: November 7th, 2005 | by: Administrator

Helpful tips on how you can help protect your children and students from online predators

Safe Surfing Tips for Parents

* Communicate and Discuss the Dangers of the Internet with Your Children
Although the Internet is a valuable resource, it also provides a means by which predators can target your children. Discuss the potential hazards of the Internet with your children to help prevent them from becoming victims.

* Become Computer Literate
Resources like software and classes can help you become computer literate. Learning a few simple techniques can show you where your child has been online recently.

* Keep the Computer in a Central Room to Monitor Online Activity
Place the computer in a public room so that you can keep an eye on their time online.

* Establish Rules for your Children’s Internet Usage
Determine how long your children can surf the net as well as which sites they are allowed to visit.

* Learn Your Internet Lingo
IM (Instant Messaging) has given birth to a slew of acronyms to describe phrases. For example, POS = “parent over shoulder”

* Use Parental Controls and/or Blocking Software
Software, as well as most Internet Service Providers (ISPs), provide controls that block access to inappropriate sites.

* Update Computer Protection Software
Keep firewalls and spyware protection current.

* Maintain Access to Your Child’s Account and Randomly Check Email
Given the anonymity of the Internet, email is an easy way for predators to track down victims. Keeping track of who is contacting your child could help prevent an incident.

* Never Provide Personal Information on the “Member Profiles” Forms
Many websites may ask for your personal data. However, because pedophiles and scam artists often use profiles as a means to find victims, avoid completing these forms.

* Never Send Pictures or Personal Information to an Unfamiliar Email Address

* Report Inappropriate Online Activities
Contact the police immediately if a stranger tries to set up a meeting with your child. Report any on-line child pornography to your service provider and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678. You can also file a report online.

Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, FBI

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About This Site

This site provides information about online child safety for kids, teens, parents, and teachers. It is operated by an educational technology professional as a service to our community of learners.