We all know that the internet can be a fun and rewarding experience. There are so many
things to see, learn and enjoy. There are literally millions of people to meet
and get to know. Unfortunately, some of those people and sites are not safe. We
just want to give everyone, kids and adults a few safety tips to make your
experience a little safer.
Chatting and Corresponding
1. You shouldn't give your name, address or phone number to anyone. This is especially true for kids. You really don't know who the person is that you are chatting or corresponding with.
2. If you are chatting and you're not an adult, you are safer picking a "handle" instead of using your real name. You should also pick a "handle" that could be used by either sex and not telling people your age.
3. Kids - make sure that your parents know that you are chatting, where you're chatting, with whom you're chatting, and what information you are giving people.
4. Parents - if you have a child that is chatting or corresponding with someone, set guidelines as to what information is and is not allowed to be given out. Take a look at the place where your child is chatting and see what kind of conversations take place. This can all be done, while still giving a child some space and some privacy.
5. Everyone should feel safe! If you are beginning to receive messages or email that you don't like, tell the person that you are receiving them from that you do not like what they are saying. If this doesn't stop the unwanted information do something about it. What can you do? If you are chatting, most chat houses have chat masters that you can e-mail and let them know what is happening. You can cut and paste the messages that you are receiving and place them in the e-mail that you send to the chat master. If you are receiving unwanted e-mail, then send an e-mail to the person's e-mail provider with the same information stated above. These actions normally resolve the problem.
6. Many people send out e-mail and have their real names in the reply area. If you are using Netscape, you can change this option, and send out e-mail that has your "handle" instead of your real name. If you're using another browser or e-mail service, ask them how you can go about having a different name or handle placed in that area for your own safety.
Filling out Forms
1. Never include any information in a form that you fill out that gives people your e-mail or homepage password.
2. Never include your social security number, drivers lisence number, or credit card numbers.
3. If you are making a purchase on the internet that requires any of this information, make sure that you are using a form on a secure site. If you are using Netscape, they have a feature where you see a key in the lower left hand corner. If the key is broken you are not in a secure site. This means that any information that you submit can be intercepted by hackers or anyone else that has the knowledge to grab the information.
4. Kids - make sure that your parents know that you are filling out forms and that they approve of the information that you are providing on the forms.
5. Again, don't provide your address or phone number on forms that you fill out. Most forms include these questions as optional information, when it's optional don't give it.
1. Adults shouldn't have any problems with general surfing. If you don't like what you're seeing, leave.
2. Don't download any applications from the internet that are from questionable sites. Places like Crescendo, Netscape, Microsoft and other popular place, do have some "trial" software or shareware that you can download and these tend to be safe.
3. Kids - only surf where your parents have given you permission. There's a reason why they restrict your surfing area and you should listen to them. If you come across a site that you aren't sure about TELL your parents.
4. Parents, a good idea for younger children is to have a set of bookmarks that are especially their own, filled with great kids safe sites that you have screened.
Holding a discussion online is vastly different from a face to face discussion. It is easy to misinterpret a comment that is read as you are missing facial expressions, body language and vocal inflections. This list employs a series of guidelines we call "Netiquette" to help make your message come across as you had intended. In a word, polite. We ask that you please read over and adhere to these guidelines.
Format: Informal, but thoughtful - don't send a note until you have taken time to review its contents and header. Make sure your note is correctly addressed, that it is free of typos, and that you mean what it says.
Sensitivity: Remember there are human beings with feelings who read your messages.
Subject line: Give your message a meaningful and accurate subject line descriptor. This will eliminate tedious sorting through mail by subscribers not drawn to a topic.
Using Humour: Please be very cautious about using sarcasm and humour. Without non-verbal cues and voice tone, "subtle" humour can easily be interpreted as searing sarcasm.
Attachments: Please avoid sending attachments and/or e-mail containing HTML to the group - not all email programs are able to handle attachments/HTML and may crash as a result.
Response Time: Please check and respond to your E-mail regularly if you choose to participate.
Respect Others: Be respectful of differences. There will be differing opinions. Respect the opinions of others even if you do not agree.
Debate: Use logic, and feel free to challenge other people's logic. Stick to the facts, cite someone's words and respond to them, not to your own assumptions and fantasy of what they are saying or implying. Do so in a professional and non-offensive manner; be polite.
Observe Email Behaviour: Use your sense when observing email behaviour. While much of email discussion is standard interaction, this new medium does involve new behavioural possibilities. Feel free to comment privately/directly on such behaviour. Just be respectful.
Forgive Acknowledged Errors: Sometimes what may look like distortions are simply errors in assumption. Be aware that repeated errors in assumption can be damaging to a brother or sister in email because much like the telephone effect, distortions of any nature can eventually be considered fact. Putting anyone in a position of having to write additional posts to defend or correct misinformation you presented as fact is disrespectful. Check your facts before responding to posts criticizing a brother or sister's position.
Doubt:If in doubt regarding a brother or sister's position, please ask for clarification privately. In the absence of answers to questions, ask again, but if no answer is forthcoming, respect others enough to disengage from the topic. Remember that answering email is a choice, not an obligation.
Flaming: Even if you get "flamed," you will live, and can continue to contribute. If you are upset by someone's posting, sleep on it, talk it over with a few brothers or sisters, and then decide what to do. If you decide to respond, present facts, not attacks. One way to avoid such unpleasantness is to comment on issues, not people. Use basic principles of communication - and being polite is the first rule of order.
Spamming: Spamming is the Internet term that refers to the sending of unsolicited email generally an advertisement but may also be a form of "Soap Box".
Professionalism: Please realize that thousands of people may eventually see your messages as archived for future decades. Information blindly or impulsively posted may come back to haunt you.
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