- Don’t give out personal information about your family situation, school, telephone number, or address.
- If you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
- When “chatting” in chat rooms, remember that not everyone is who they say they are, for example a person who says “she” is a 14-year-old girl from New York may really be a 42-year-old man from California. Adapted from Child Safety on the Information Highway by Lawrence J. Majid. This information is reprinted from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Copyright (c) 1994 NCMEC. All rights reserved.
- If someone harasses you online, says anything inappropriate, or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, contact your Internet service provider.
- Know that there are rules many Internet service providers have about online behavior. If you violate these rules, your Internet service provider may give you a “time out” and disable your account either temporarily or permanently.
- Consider volunteering at your local library, school, or The Boys and Girls Club to help younger children online. Many schools and nonprofit organizations are in need of people to help set up their computers and Internet capabilities.
- If you are having problems at home, with your friends, or at school, a friend you have met online may not be the best person to talk with. Covenant House is a good place to call at 1-800-999-9999. They are able to provide counseling, refer you to a local shelter, assist with the police, and serve as mediators in calling your parents.
- If you are thinking about running away, call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000, instead of talking to friends online. Although some of your online friends may seem to really listen to you, the Switchboard will be able to give you answers to some of your questions about what to do when you are depressed, abused, or thinking about running away. Adapted from Children Online: “The ABCs for Parenting: When Is Your Child Ready” by The Children’s Partnership. http://www.childrenspartnership.org
Download your free copy of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s “Teen Safety on the Information Highway”