Archive for September, 2012

Tips to Stay Safe and Cybersmart Part 4

September 24th, 2012 by

Searching, tweeting, emailing, texting, and lots of other things online are great fun and helpful. However, there is potential for some situations to become dangerous or illegal. Ignoring these situations usually make them worse. CyberSmart, a website from Australia, recently published a wonderful series of articles about protecting yourself and others on the internet. The fourth in this series is about playing online games.

If you missed last week’s post about dealing with offensive or illegal content online, click here. Also, check back next week to learn more about your “digital footprint.”

Playing online Games

Playing games online and using consoles or games on a computer can be great fun, but you need to be careful about how much you play and who you play with. Sometimes, if you are using a console, you can play games online with other people instead of going into game sites. It is important that if you chat with other gamers you protect your privacy and don’t share personal or private information. If you are unsure whether a game is suitable, ask your parents or a trusted adult to check its classification and reviews for you

 Tips

  • If another player is behaving badly or making you uncomfortable, block them from your players list. You may also be able to report them to the game site operator.
  • Limit your game play time so you can still do other things like homework, jobs around the house and hanging out with your friends.
  • Keep personal details private.
  • Remember to make time offline for your friends, your favorite sports and other activities.
  • Some websites will ask you to pay money to play a game. Make sure you talk to your parents about this and they agree to make the payment.
  • Remember that some websites are designed to make money for the company providing the service—not the player of the game. Make sure you understand the terms of the game before making any payment.

[Via Cybersmart]

Tips to Stay Safe and Cybersmart Part 3

September 17th, 2012 by

Searching, tweeting, emailing, texting, and lots of other things online are great fun and helpful. However, there is potential for some situations to become dangerous or illegal. Ignoring these situations usually make them worse. CyberSmart, a website from Australia, recently published a wonderful series of articles about protecting yourself and others on the internet. The third in this series is about dealing with offensive or illegal content online.

If you missed last week’s post about Unwanted contact, click here. Also, check back next week to learn more about playing online games.

Offensive or Illegal Content

When you’re surfing the web you may come across websites, photos, text or other material that makes you feel uncomfortable or upset. There are some easy ways to handle these situations.

Tips

  • Tell your parents or another trusted adult if you come across material that upsets you.
  • Know how to ‘escape’ from a website if an internet search takes you to an unpleasant or nasty website. Hit control-alt-delete if the site will not allow you to exit.
  • If a website looks suspicious or has a warning page for people under 18 years, leave immediately. Some sites are not meant for kids.
  • Check with your parents that your search engine is set to block material that is meant for adults.
  • Ask your parents to install internet filter software to block bad sites.
  • Ask your parents to help you find safe and fun sites to use and bookmark for later.

[Via Cybersmart]

Tips to Stay Safe and Cybersmart Part 2

September 10th, 2012 by

Searching, tweeting, emailing, texting, and lots of other things online are great fun and helpful. However, there is potential for some situations to become dangerous or illegal. Ignoring these situations usually make them worse. CyberSmart, a website from Australia, recently published a wonderful series of articles about protecting yourself and others on the internet. The second in this series is called Unwanted Contact.

If you missed last week’s post about Cyberbullying, click here. Also, check back next week to learn more about “dealing with offensive or illegal content online.”

Unwanted contact

Sometimes you can meet someone or see something online that is unpleasant or makes you feel uncomfortable. This could be communication from someone you met online who starts asking personal questions or sends you photos or material that are upsetting or that you don’t like. It can sometimes be from someone you know.

What should you do?

Tips

  • Tell someone. Tell your mum, dad, an older brother or sister, or another adult you trust.
  • Don’t respond to messages and leave the site or chat session immediately.
  • Block the contact using your ‘ignore’ list or with filtering software.
  • Keep the evidence. This can be useful in tracking the person posting unsuitable material or asking you questions.
  • Report it. Ask your parents to contact your ISP and/or phone provider or the website administrator, as there are actions they can take to help. You can also report it to the police if there is a threat to your safety.
  • Set your profile to ‘private’ so your personal details are kept secret and it’s harder for people you don’t know to contact you.
  • Don’t open messages from people you don’t know. They could be nasty, contain viruses or be trying to sell you something.

Tips to Stay Safe and Cybersmart Part 1

September 4th, 2012 by

Searching, tweeting, emailing, texting, and lots of other things online are great fun and helpful. However, there is potential for some situations to become dangerous or illegal. Ignoring these situations usually make them worse. CyberSmart, a website from Australia, recently published a wonderful series of articles about protecting yourself and others on the internet. The first article in this series is called Cyberbullying.

Check back next week to learn more about “Unwanted Contact.”

Cyberbullying

The same rules apply online as in the ‘real world’ about how to treat other people. Unfortunately, people don’t always treat each other well online, and you, or a friend, may find that you are the target of cyberbullying. You might be teased or have rumors spread about you online, receive nasty messages or even threats. It can happen in school, or out of it, any hour of the day, from people you know, and sometimes people you don’t know. It can leave you feeling unsafe and alone.

No-one has the right to bully another person. At its most serious, cyberbullying is illegal and can be investigated by the police.

 Tips

If you are being cyberbullied

  • Ignore it. Don’t respond to the bully. If they don’t get a response they may get bored and go away.

  • Block the person. This will stop you seeing messages or texts from a particular person.

  • Tell someone. Tell your (mom) or dad, or another adult you trust.

  • Keep the evidence. This can be useful in tracking the bully down. Save texts, emails, online conversations or voicemails as proof.

  • Report it to:

Your school—they should have policies in place about bullying and cyberbullying.

Your ISP and/or phone provider or the website administrator—there are actions they can take to help.

The police—if there is a threat to your safety the police will help.

If a friend is being cyberbullied

It can be hard to know if your friends are being cyberbullied. They might keep it to themselves. If they are being cyberbullied, you might notice that they may not chat with you online as much, suddenly receive lots of SMS messages or are unhappy after they have been on the computer or checked their phone messages. They may stop hanging around with friends or have lost interest in school or social activities.

Help stop cyberbullying

  • Stand up and speak out!If you see or know about cyberbullying happening to a friend, support them and report the bullying. You’d want them to do the same for you.
  • Don’t forward on messages or pictures that may hurt or be upsetting to someone. Even though you may not have started it, you will be seen to be part of the cyberbullying cycle.
  • Remember to treat others as you would like to be treated when communicating online.