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Internet Safety Tips For Parents

Tempted to meet someone face-to-face that you know only from online chats?

Remember anyone can pretend to be anyone online. A skilled predator will pretend to be exactly the type of person you are looking for; otherwise you wouldn’t be interested in getting together, would you?  If you think you can’t come in contact with a predator, think again.  Predators go anywhere you go on the Internet. MySpace found 30,000 sex offenders with profiles and they are just the ones who used their real names to register.

Sharing too much information about yourself?

Giving out personal information could lead a predator to your door.  Set all online profiles of yourself to PRIVATE or FRIENDS ONLY. You, your friends, and your athletic teams are putting information about you onto the web. If the world can see that information, so can a predator or a stalker. Guard your personal information and ask others to be careful with it as well.

There is another potential problem that you might not consider – identity theft.  This is a crime in which someone establishes credit in your name. Unfortunately for you, the credit history that is established will not be a good one and it will take a lot of time and effort to clean up the mess. Giving out personal information should be your decision. Just because an interesting website asks for your personal information doesn’t mean you should give it out.

Be careful posting photos of yourself on the web. Photos placed on public sites can be manipulated and placed back on public sites. Such photos of you might prove to be embarrassing or worse – not the kind of photo you would want a college admissions committee or potential employer to see.

What do you know about intellectual properties?

Do you know that copyright law protects intellectual properties?  And using another’s intellectual properties without their permission is illegal.

Many owners of intellectual properties view piracy and plagiarism as stealing.  Illegal downloading of movies and music can have serious legal and monetary consequences.   The music industry has taken legal action against some offenders, typically costing the person thousands of dollars to resolve.

Plagiarizing can seriously damage your academic record, which could adversely affect college admission or getting a job.


  • Music Recordings
  • Videos
  • Photographs
  • Drawings
  • Magazine Articles
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Software
  • Books

Many view piracy and plagiarism as stealing.  Illegal downloading of movies and music can have serious consequences.  If you recognize that stealing a CD or DVD from a store is wrong, don’t steal online. Some Online

Behaviors are against the law…

There is an area of the law called Intellectual Properties; learn about it.  Copying information from the Internet can be illegal and there are risks.

Learn more:

Protecting Your Computer

  • Emails from unknown sources may contain attachments that introduce viruses that permanently damage your computer.  Forwarding emails from unknown sources can reveal your friend’s email address to the sender and possibly infect your friend’s computer with a virus.
  • File sharing can lead to a virus or provide access to information contained on your hard drive.
  • Installing a firewall can help protect your computer from the problems created by hackers.
  • Anti-Virus software can help protect your files.
  • Disconnecting your Internet when not in use is the best way to prevent anyone from using the Internet’s “two way street” to get into your computer.
  • Posting your email address on public sites allows spammers to find it and send you junk mail.
  • Remember: Your first and best line of defense is self-defense in cyber space.
  • If you suspect that your child has been contacted by predator: Notify law enforcement or file a complaint online at www.missingkids.com or Call the Office of the Attorney General at 505-222-9000 and ask for an Internet Crimes Against Children investigator.