Safety Tips for Kids

Keep all of your personal information to yourself.
Information like your address, telephone number, or even where you go to school and what you do afterwards can lead to a dangerous situation. It doesn't take much to give away your identity.

Never give out your picture or post it online.
Your image is everything; don't let someone destroy it. Anything you send could be altered and then given to other people. Always ask your parents or guardians before you give anyone on the Internet your name or address, your phone number, or any other personal details. This includes the name of your school, your photo or any personal information about your friends or family.

Don't give out information simply because it is requested.
Websites sometimes ask you to give them your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address, etc. Give as little information as possible, then hit the "submit" button and see what information you really need to provide to get that account. You don't want too much information to get into the wrong hands.

Create a gender-neutral user name and email address.
It is important that your user name not reveal any personal information such as your real name, age, sex, location, where you go to school, age, etc. Child predators look for ways to make you think they know you or like the same things you like, so be careful.

Don't give out passwords to anyone other than your parents or guardians.
Your password can be used in a variety of ways that may hurt you. If you think that someone may know your password, change it. There is no reason for anyone to ever contact you requesting your password.

Don't trust everyone you meet online.
The people you meet online may not be who they say they are. For instance, someone online could claim to be 12 and really be 50. If someone always seems to be changing stories or saying one thing that's different from something they've said before, be extremely careful. These are clues that something is wrong and that person could be a predator or harasser trying to trick you into trusting them.

If you come across anything that makes you uncomfortable, tell your parents/guardians or an adult you trust.
This includes pictures or messages that are mean, or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable. If someone writes something rude or something that makes you feel uncomfortable online or in a text message, save the comment or image and show an adult.

Watch what you "say" online.
A good rule of thumb is to only type what you would say to someone's face. If you wouldn't say it to a stranger standing next to you, don't send it or post it online. This goes for photos as well. If you wouldn't want your photo being shown all over the world in public, think twice about sending it to someone.

Always ask your parents before:

  • Creating new accounts online - This includes email accounts and social network accounts.
  • Meeting an online friend in person - If your parents or guardians agree to the meeting, be sure to meet in a public place and bring them with you, preferably during the day.
  • Filling out any forms - It is important that your parents see what information you are providing and who you are providing the information to.
  • Accepting any offers - Many offers that seem too good to be true usually are.
  • Posting any photos - You do not want pictures of you to get in the wrong hands.
  • Giving out personal information, including: Your name, names of family members, your home address, your email address, the name and location of your school, your home or mobile phone numbers, your social security number, credit card numbers, etc.

Help For Kids

Cyberbullying

If you are being cyberbullied, it is best to simply not respond. If they continue to harass you, follow the tips below. These tips can also be used if a stranger contacts you.

  1. KEEP EVERYTHING! Save emails, texts, call logs, etc.
  2. Let your parents, teacher or other adult you trust know about what is happening online. They will help you report the incident to the principal, school resource officer or the police.
  3. Remember that it is not your fault.
  4. Do not respond to anything the cyberbully sends, but do keep anything the cyberbully sends.
  5. If someone has created a website to harass you, complain to the server where the site is hosted (ask for help if you are unsure where the site is being hosted).
  6. Never respond to texts or emails that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Tell your parents or other trusted adult about these messages. It's not your fault - remember that!
  7. No matter how friendly a stranger may be online, don't trust them completely.
  8. Don't let a stranger online know when you are having a problem at school or at home - they will use this to try to get you to trust them and tell them more.
  9. Never, ever meet a stranger in person, no matter how close you feel you have gotten to them online. Someone claiming to be a 15 year-old girl or guy online may actually be a 40 year-old man. Meeting them face-to face may be dangerous - even if you're accompanied by friends or family.