Be cyber-smart – stay safe when you’re online
The internet is an amazing way to learn about new things, chat with friends, and keep up to date
Trouble is, the internet can sometimes be a dangerous place if you don’t know what to avoid or look out for.
The best way to keep safe on the internet is to stick to 10 basic rules:
1. Never give out your name, address or phone number, or any other personal details without checking with your parent or carer first.
2. Never post your photo, give out the name of your school or provide information about your friends or family without checking with your parent or carer first.
3. Remember that although it can be fun to meet people online, people are not always who they say they are. For example, a person who says they are a 12-year-old girl may actually be a 40-year-old man.
4. If you decide you want to meet someone in person after meeting them on the internet, ALWAYS ask a parent or another adult to go with you.
Make sure you meet during the day, in a public place.
5. Always be careful about the kind of information you put on a blog or a message board. It doesn’t take much for people to find things out about you.
6. ALWAYS keep your password a secret. Don’t tell anyone what it is – even your best friend.
7. If someone writes something rude or upsetting in an email or in a chatroom or forum, leave the chatroom or forum right away and DO NOT respond to the email.
8. Tell someone you trust if you see upsetting language, nasty pictures or something scary on the internet.
9. Always ask your parent or carer before you fill out any forms or provide bank account or credit card details.
10. Don’t accept any offers that seem too good to be true – they probably are!
For more information about safety online, head to www.cybersmartkids.com.au
This site offers fun activities and information for kids, as well as tips and advice for parents and teachers.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority also operates an online complaints hotline, via which members of the public can complain about offensive or illegal internet content. The complaints form is at www.acma.gov.au/hotline