Internet Safety 101

How to keep yourself safe

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(MacQuarrie, 2012)


A potentially damaging computer program designed to affect your computer negatively without your knowledge or permission by altering the way it works. Creators of virus programs write the programs with the intent of them to spread or cause damage. Some signs of a virus are the following: a program/file is suddenly missing, a file becomes corrupted, a program/file does not work properly, and/or an unknown program/file mysteriously opens/appears (Martin, n.d.).


Hackers can still access your email or add you to their spam lists even though email is essentially private. If you don't recognize the sender of an email, don't open an attached document, and delete the email right away to avoid getting a virus (Dowshen, 2011a).

Safe Computing Tips

To keep yourself safe on the computer, remember a few things. Purchase reliable antivirus software, scan all removable media, scan all files downloaded from the internet, scan all attached files before opening, and avoid pirated/illegal copies of copyrighted software. Also, turn off your email preview, never start your computer w/ removable media in the drive, install antivirus programs/personal firewall, backup your files often, and set your antivirus programs to scan automatically (Martin, n.d.)
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(, 2013)

Personal Identity Safety

The best thing to do is to remain as anonymous as possible. Keep all your information private. NEVER give out your full name, address, phone number, social security number, credit card number, passwords, or names of family members. Think carefully when creating a screen name and email address. Experts recommend using letters, numbers, and characters when creating either (Dowshen, 2011a).

Make sure to keep your online profiles private as well. If profiles are public, someone can copy your information and photos.

Never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents! Not even your best friend! Change your password often and use a combination of letters, numbers, and characters in these as well. If someone finds out your password, they can get on websites and ruin your identity.

Don't post inappropriate or sexually provocative pictures or comments. Also, don't respond to inappropriate requests.

Learn about copyright laws. You don't want to share, post, or distribute anything that will get you into trouble later on down the road (Dowshen, 2010).

Chat Room/Instant Messaging Caution

Chat rooms are some of the most popular spots on the internet for kids and teens. Chat rooms can be very dangerous however. Many times, people meet "friends" in chat rooms who are only interested in exploiting them. Pedophiles, adults who are sexually interested in children, are known to frequent chat rooms and pretend to be kids/teens. Often, these pedophiles are able to persuade the teens they are talking to to exchange personal information w/ them, and eventually meet them.

Some basic rules to follow in regards to chat rooms are to never trade personal photographs in the mail or over the internet, never reveal personal information (address, telephone number, school), use only a screen name (never your real name), never agree to meet a person you only know from a chat room, never respond to a threatening email or message, and always tell a parent about a conversation/communication that was threatening and/or scary (Dowshen, 2011b).

Internet Safety for Teens


Copyright is a law that protects a creator’s ownership of and control over the work he or she creates. When respecting one's creative work, make sure to know the following tips:

~Check who owns it

~Get permission to use it

~Give credit to the creator

~Buy it (if necessary)

~Use it responsibly

Fair use allows you the ability to use a small amount of someone's work without permission, but only in certain ways. It cannot be used for commercial use. It can be used for schoolwork and education, criticism or social commentary, news reporting, or comedy/parody (Common Sense Media, Inc, 2013).


Plagiarism is protected by copyrights laws. Plagiarism is considered an act of fraud because you are stealing someone else's work, and then lying about it. Some examples of plagiarism are the following:

~turning in someone else's work as your own

~copying words/ideas from someone else without giving credit

~failing to put a quotation in quotation marks

~giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation

By citing sources, plagiarism can be avoided. Make sure you give credit where credit is due! (Plagiarism, 2013)

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(Chino Valley Unified School District, 2013)


Martin, F. Computer Networks, Security, and Ethics [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from

Dowshen, S. MD (2011a). Online Safety. Retrieved on July 6, 2013 from

Dowshen, S. MD (2010). Protecting your online Identity and Reputation. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from

MacQuarrie, A (2012). Tips to Teach Children How to Use the Internet Safely. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from

Chino Valley Unified School District (2013). Internet Safety. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from (2013). Internet Safety Posters. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from

Sdsheriff (2012). Internet Safety for Teens. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from

Dowshen, S. MD (2011b). Internet Safety. Retrieved July 6, 2013 from

Common Sense Media, Inc. (2013). Lesson: Copyrights and Wrongs (9-12). Retrieved July 7, 2013 from (2013). What is Plagiarism? Retrieved July 7, 2013 from

(Sdsheriff, 2012)