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Internet Safety

Wherever you are in the world, you must do your best to stay safe. That is also true on the Internet. Here are some ways to stay safe online.

Explore the Internet with your family. Here are some sites for parentS, guardians and kids:
Use Kid-Friendly Search Engines.
These search engines try to find sites meant especially for kids:
These web pages group search engines to find sites that kids like, but not all sites have been reviewed by an adult:
Learn to use Bookmarks or Favorites to save cool sites at home. This way you will know for sure that you have the right address and will avoid stumbling into a site not meant for kids. An example of a great site to bookmark is the ACPL Children's Services Fun Links:
http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/children/funlinks.html

Evaluate the information. Just because something is on the Internet does not mean it is true. There is misleading and false information on the Internet.
If you have doubts about something you find, double-check the information in a reliable source. (Hint: You can always ask a librarian to help.)
Multnomah County Library has a great page to help you evaluate information on the Internet:
http://www.multcolib.org/homework/webeval.html

Chat with caution. Chat only with people you already know or stay on Kid Chat sites that have someone to watch that the chat is about kid stuff. Your parent or guardian will have to give permission to these sites to let you chat. Below is a Kid Chat site:
    KidsCom KidsChat
    http://www.kidscom.com/chat/kidschat/kidschat.html
    (Sign-up at http://www.kidscom.com/cgi-bin/registration/kc/kc_register.pl)
Never give out any personal information on the Internet without first checking with your parent or guardian. Remember, the people you meet online are strangers. Tell a grown-up (one you know and trust) if something happens online that is weird. Here are some sites with safety information:
Practice netiquette. Netiquette is a funny word for being polite online. Consider how you would like to be treated, and treat others the same way.
Check out this site for more information:
Check if the site is secure. The only way to be sure that no one else can see what information you send out on the Internet is on a secure Web site. Secure sites use encryption, which basically scrambles up what is sent. Then the only one who can read the information is the one it is sent to. To check for security, look for an image of a closed, or locked, lock on the screen. On Netscape, look for the lock image on the Task Bar at the top of the screen. On Internet Explorer, the lock will appear very small at the bottom of your screen. The address (URL) of a secure Web site should also start with https - not just http.

Learn about COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Be aware that it’s against the law for anyone with an Internet site to take personal information from anyone who is 13 or younger without the permission of that person’s parent.

Know how to read (or decode) a web address. This will also help you to evaluate the site. A web address is called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Here is a URL, which is then decoded:
http:// www.acpl.lib.in.us/children/internet.html
  • The http:// is the protocol. All Web sites will start with http:// (hypertext transfer protocol). Remember, if it is a secure site, the protocol will be https://.
  • The www.acpl.lib.in.us is the domain name. This one stands for: World Wide Web. Allen County Public Library. Library. Indiana. United States. Some popular domain types for the United States are:
    .com : Commercial site
    .edu : Educational institution (colleges and universities)
    .org : Non-profit organization
    .gov : Government site
    Many other countries end their domain with a two-letter country code:.fr for France; .mx for Mexico; .de for Germany; .es for Spain.
  • The children is the name of the directory for the Children’s Services department on our library’s server (a big computerized storage space for computer files).
  • The internet.html is the file name and file type of this page. Many Web pages end in .html or .htm. HTML stands for Hypertext Mark-up Language. This is a special code that allows different computer browsers to show the same site the same way.

For more information about reading a web address or creating a web page of your own, check out these sites:
This page was created by Sara Patalita for Children's Services'  Internet for Kids and Parents program. Please be advised that, due to the mutability of the Internet, these sites and/or their addresses may change without warning.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to Mary R. Voors, Manager, Children's Services at mvoors@acpl.lib.in.us.

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