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  Internet Basics

Learn the Net - Get the most out of your Internet service with this Internet Guide and Tutorial. Takes beginners through topics such as sending e-mail, joining newsgroups, subscribing to mailing lists, using search engines, and downloading files --just to start. Not-so-beginners will find a lot of useful information on every Internet topic. Children Online: Getting Involved

Children and young people are among the most active users of the Information Super Highway, and are often the first in their family to use a computer as a learning tool. Some adults are just as enthusiastic as their youngsters, and others have no use for the technology whatsoever. There is little doubt that computers are here to stay, and they are changing the way young people learn, play, and prepare for work life. Not all parents can afford a computer in the home, but technology is used increasingly in schools and libraries with an estimated 78% of schools, and 72% of Library systems with at least some access to the Internet in 1997.

Just as you would ensure your child's safety IRL (in real life), it is up to you to maximize their safety on the Internet. The vast majority of Internet sites are perfectly safe, but like the real world, cyberspace contains sites that are sexually explicit, and/or promote hatred, bigotry, violence, drugs, cults and other things not appropriate for children. As more and more children get "connected", strong parental guidance is needed to use this new medium as a rich opportunity for learning.

Basic Rules for Online Safety

For Kids & Teens

  • Treat strangers online as you would strangers on the street --carefully.
  • Never give out identifying information. Don't reveal such things as your age, phone number, address, graduation date, birth date, or your parent's financial status.
  • Never arrange to get together with someone you met online. Discuss any requests with your parent or guardian.
  • Never respond to an E-mail, chat or newsgroup message that is hostile, belligerent, inappropriate, or in any way make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Talk to your parent about their expectations and ground rules for going online.
  • Treat other people online (even strangers) with consideration and respect. There are human beings sitting behind all those other keyboards.
    For Parents

  • Get to know the services your child uses, and the topics/websites normally visited. If you don't know how to log on, get your child to show you. Share the experience.
  • Never allow a child to arrange a face to face meeting with another computer user without permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child.
  • Never respond (or allow your child to respond) to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you (or your child) feel uncomfortable.
  • If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your service provider and ask for their assistance.

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