Internet Safety

Welcome to Perry Local Schools Internet Safety & Security Web Site.  Our goal is to help provide staff, students, parents & community members with helpful information to keep yourself and others safe and secure while on the Internet.

Use the links below to find helpful information on each topic.

“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.” – Bill Gates

Requires PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer (free) to view. *Statistics provided by iSafe.

Privacy on the Internet – The Internet is an arena of information. However, it is not anonymous. When you sign on, others have access to you. Your email address, screen name, and password serve as barriers between you and others. You need to maintain this barrier by not giving out private information. There are many out there who would like to know more for various reasons:

  • They could want to harm you.
  • They could want money
  • They could use information to conduct their own business either selling your info or using it in an illegal manner.

If you are under thirteen, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act applies to you. It requires commercial website operators to get parent consent before getting your personal information. It is hoped that this law will help stop website owners who might misuse information they collect from you.

If you are over thirteen, you still need to be careful.

When surfing the Internet, chatting, or emailing make sure to stay safe by:

  1. Never give out your first or last name, your parent’s names, your home address, your phone number, birth date, etc.
  2. Don’t tell anyone your password.
  3. Be careful who you tell your screen name and user Id
  4. Use a different screen name from your email address. This way you can prevent some spam.
  5. View a website’s Privacy policy to understand how they can use the information you give them.
  6. Always ask permission before giving any information out.
  7. You should be able to participate in most online activities without giving out information.
  8. Log off if personal information is asked for.
  9. When you receive an email that is inappropriate delete it and report it. Don’t ask to be removed or click on the removal button. Spammers then send more now that they know this is a real e-mail address.
  10. Don’t give out other people’s names or email addresses – you want to protect them also.
  11. Don’t register for contests or fill out info to download software.
  12. Understand that people aren’t always who they claim to be. Don’t give out information to anyone claiming to be from the Internet company, etc.
  13. Email is not always private so don’t put anything in there you might not want to see broadcasted.

*Information provided by isafe.

Blog Safety – Blogs, or weblogs are the newest trend in online communication. Newsgroups, forums, bulletin boards are also very similar to blogs.  When using any, remember these helpful tips:

These are places where you can read posted files, download or upload files, or post your own message. They are not in “real” time like chats however. Posted messages remain there even after you leave. You can find a group on almost any topic and they are a great way to get involved in an area of interest.

  • The biggest risk is not including personal information in postings. Don’t reveal anything identifying about yourself
  • Realize that by posting, you are making your E-mail address public.
  • Be careful not to participate in a group, which might be illegal or hateful.

*Information provided by isafe.

Web Safety – Many students use the Internet as a search tool. This is a great use and there are lots of great sites with useful information. You can find books, games, and pictures, anything you want. However, there are risks associated with searching the Internet. * Inappropriate sites – There are some sites you should not go to. They can contain R-rated or X-rated pictures and words not suitable for your age group, or they may be hate filled or upsetting. When you accidentally come across a site you know you shouldn’t be in, close out of it quickly. If you still have trouble, try logging off completely or rebooting.

* Faulty information sites – Anyone can write a web page. The problem with this is that you don’t always know which sites have true and useful information and which sites are bogus. So be careful – don’t trust everything you read without double-checking and checking references.

* Private Information – Some websites ask you for private information before you can access their stuff. Make sure you ask your parents before giving anyone private information.

* Your own website – Many teens now have their own websites. However, you have to be careful about what information you display. Don’t tell too much about yourself or include personal photos if possible. Other people use this information to scout targets.

*Information provided by isafe.

E-Mail Safety – E-Mail is a wonderful tool that is very easy to use. While it is a very efficient way to communicate with others who may be half way around the world, there some potential safety issues that you should be aware of.

  • E-Mail is not secure. Someone with the right software can do what is called “sniffing” and be able to read all or part of your e-mail message.  Because of this, it is always recommended that you do not send anything that is of a sensitive or private matter through e-mail.
  • Some e-mail messages may appear to come from your credit card company or another reliable source, but they really don’t.  Please read below concerning Phishing.

“If you aren’t expecting an attachment from someone, it is safer not to open it.”- Anonymous

Phishing Scam – Phishing is a newer use of technology to exploit information out of others by pretending to be someone else that most people would trust. While it may not seem possible, hackers have figured out ways to make their email messages appear like they have come from anyone they want (somewhat scary). All it takes is a little bit of information about you and these people can start to find more and cause you some real headaches and possibly some problems with your bank/credit cards. These types of scams have been known to appear to come from your local bank, credit card companies, department store credit cards and the government. All of these companies would never ask for any type of personal information through email because email is not secure and can possibly be read by snoopers on the internet. This is why it is stressed that any personal/private information not be sent through email to anyone on the internet. If you think one of these companies really did send you an email message, your best bet is to call them to verify.

An example of a “phishing” message is an email that appears to come from department@cia.gov telling you that your computer was being investigated for some illegal activities and asking you to fill out some questions on an attachment and send it back to them. This type of message is a scam tactic known as “phishing.” If the CIA was really interested in your computer, they could easily just come and take it before you delete stuff from it.

“Don’t believe everything you read.”- Anonymous
“Sometimes all it takes is a little common sense to outsmart the scam artists” – Anonymous

IM/Chat Safety – One of the most popular things to do on the Internet is use Instant Messenger (IM) or Chat.  It is a great communication tool that is quickly becoming a part of everyday life. However, before you start to IM, you should consider the following when selecting a screen name.

Instant Messenger Screen Name
A User Id is a “nickname” you select to identify yourself in e-mail, chats, etc.· Choose one which contains letters or numbers
· Realize that someone may already have a user name you want.

DO NOT USE Personal Information such as:

  • Your real first name
  • Your real last name
  • Your location (i.e. hilliegirl, HaverhillGuy)
  • Your zip code
  • A suggestive name or word (i.e. sexyman69, hotbabygirl)
  • Obscene words
  • Family names

DO TRY TO USE:

  • A nickname (for example: sunshine, shortstuff)
  • Something that relates to a favorite hobby, musical group or movie (i.e. Cheering4u, LinkinParkFan, Matrixmad)
  • Add the current year to the end of the name if someone is already using the name you want (ie, shortstuff-99)
  • Add a second letter to your nickname (ie ddancer instead of dancer)
  • Try to choose a gender-neutral online screen name.

For added security, always opt NOT to add your name or nickname to any sort of member directory.

*Information provided by isafe.

Password Tips Password:
A Password is a series of letters, numbers or symbols used to log you into a computer system. Passwords are used to access email, join chatrooms, etc. They are usually between 6 and 8 characters long.

Password Security:

  1. Don’t tell anyone your password.
  2. Don’t write your password down anywhere.
  3. When you decide on a password, make sure it can’t be guessed.
  4. If you think there’s even a chance someone else might know your password, change it.
  5. Make sure no one is standing near you when you enter your password.

Why is password security important?
Many people like to “crack” codes and use email, etc. for their own use. Some of these people may even be your friends or people you go to school with. Once in, they can do awful things to your stuff and to the stuff of other people.
How can I tell if my password can be guessed?

People who crack codes use computer programs to do so. Your password is encrypted – meaning it is changed into new numbers/codes once entered into the system. So no one can just take a look or break into a system to get it. Instead, they use computer programs to encrypt letters and numbers in an attempt to match your password.

To attempt every possible combination would take forever. Instead, obvious combinations are tried. Many people choose a password based on something person like their name, address, social security number, phone number, etc. The program tries these first.

Next the program tries all the words in the dictionary forward and back. This only takes several minutes. This is why you shouldn’t choose a common word like friend as a password.

Helpful Hints

Chatting allows you to engage in real time “conversation” with people around the world. You type what you want to say and then everyone can see it. Some chat rooms have specific interests such as an actor or music group. Some chat rooms are moderated, meaning there are people watching the conversation who step in to guide or enforce rules. The monitor can’t, however, prevent you from going off to a private chat area with a person who might do you harm, or keep you from typing information that could put you in danger.
Chatting is one of the most dangerous forms of Internet communication. You can say things you normally wouldn’t. Also you make friends with people but you don’t really know if you can trust their information. Quite often chat rooms are used by predators to lure prey. Predators often lurk in teen chat rooms to befriend future victims. And… – you never know – online the person you thought was a fourteen-year-old guy could be a thirty eight year old.

  • Keep online interaction online. Don’t agree to meet or phone people met online.
  • Don’t give out personal information. Be careful about indirectly saying too much – like school mascot, game times, etc. Eventually you will have said enough.
  • Keep your parents or guardians informed of online interaction.
  • Use Chat rooms that are moderated.
  • Be suspicious of someone who wants to be your friend and turns you against your parents, teachers or friends.
  • Private chats aren’t always private – when you meet offline friends online in a private chat room be careful. Others can often enter and lurk.

*Information provided by isafe.

Keeping Kids Safe Online – We encourage parents to take an active role their child’s on-line activity.Here are some links to help stay safe while on-line:

Cyberbullying – resource guide on cyberbullying for parents and kids of all ages.

Parent Times – a monthly newsletter geared toward parents with tips and useful information about safety and upcoming things to watch out for on the internet.

Internet Safety Tips for Students & Parents

Student attitudes towards the Internet and Safety

Learn what the chat (IM) abbreviations mean that your son/daughter is using.

The Parent-Child Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide
A communication gap between parents and children has always existed and the Internet has widened the chasm. This generation is the first to grow up “plugged in.” New access to the world, combined with the technological anxiety that many adults face, has turned the gap into a Digital Divide. i-SAFE America surveyed parents and students in grades 5 through 12. The results confirm a Digital Divide that will swallow our kids if nothing is done. Here are the parents’ beliefs verses the students’ reality.Parents’ Beliefs

* 87% say they have established rules for their kids Internet use
* 54% feel they are limited to monitor and shelter their kids from inappropriate material on the Internet
* 69% feel they know a lot about what their kids do on the Internet
* 31% have disciplined their child because of their Internet use

2003-05 i-SAFE survey of 4,500 parents

Students’ Reality

* 36% say parents or guardians have NOT made rules for their use of the Internet
* 41% do NOT share what they do and where they go on the Internet with their parents
* 29% say their parent or guardian would disapprove if they knew what they were doing on the Internet
* 36% have NOT discussed how to be safe on the Internet with their parent or guardian
* 22% say the computer they use most often is in their room
* 73% say there is a need for kids and teens to learn about Internet safety

Resources

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/
http://www.esentia.com/online-security-guide-for-parents-and-kids-a/261.html
http://www.cyberbullying.us/resources.php
http://www.qwiktag.com/index.php/knowledge-base/155-cyberbullying-resources
http://www.certstaff.com/computer-safety-security-guide.html