Table of Contents
Introduction | Always Drive Safely | Blog Beware: the World of  Bloggin, Myspace, Xanga and Friendster |   Bookshelf | Internet Filtering Software
Teens: Get Your Internet Diver's License   | Netiquette | What R U Talking About? Chat Acronyms & Dictionaries
  Know Your Sources: How to Validate a Web Site | Privacy Matters | Misleading Ads
Credits | Parent & Teacher Resources | Contact

Internet Safety
for Parents and Teens

 designed by Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
Library Media/Technology Specialist
 Howard County Public Schools
"The most effective, reliable, Internet Safety Filter is an
Involved, Informed, and Aware Parent
and an Educated and Ethical Kid."*
If you don't read anything else on this page,
please read these Do's and Don'ts:

"Before you start on a trip, you check a map, pack the snacks and follow the rules of the road. Traveling in Cyberspace isn't much different. In fact, whether you travel on the road or the virtual road, common sense and a good handbook are your best travel companions." Site Seeing on the Internet- FTC

Even if you have been on the "net" for years, or if you are just starting out on this journey, there are things you should be aware of and be savvy about before you begin. A rule was passed by the FTC as of April 21, 2000, to protect Children's Online Privacy  which states that Websites Must Obtain Parental Permission Before Collecting Children's Personal Information.
On the road, you know there are both jerks and cool people out there. The jerks are those who drive recklessly and rudely, and the cool people are savvy skilled drivers who move in and out of traffic with precision and ease. This page will help you to become one of the *skilled* drivers, and not a jerky one!
The components to become a savvy net citizen:
  • Always Drive Safely - safety tips for the net
  • Netiquette - how to not act like a newbie!
  • Know Your Sources - where did the page come from and who wrote it?
  • Privacy Matters - kidz privacy and your rights!
  • Don't be Duped by Banner Ads! - before you click on a banner ad,  think!

  • Always Drive Safely

    It's a jungle out there on the web!  Alarming statistics for parents from a 1999 CNN/Time Magazine poll.

    82% of teens surveyed use the Internet.
    44% have been to an X-rated site.
    70% of teens have accidentally stumbled across pornography online. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
    25% have visited hate group web sites.
    14% have seen sites where they are taught how to build bombs.
    62% said their parents knew little or nothing about the web sites they visit.
    43% of parents have no Internet use rules for their kids to follow.
    69% of the kids don't follow the rules or have none to follow.
    72% of girls (57% boys) suspect they have "chatted" with people who are pretending to be someone they are not.
    58% of girls (39% boys) have been asked to provide personal information like telephone number and address.
    Now, taking into consideration that these statistics are WAY old (especially compared to Internet years) don't you think the numbers are higher now? All the more reason to be cautious.

    Internet Safety Sites to Explore and Share with Your Teens:

    What is iSafe?
    From the foundation website:
    i-SAFE America, Inc. is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to educate and
    empower youth to safely and responsibly take control of their Internet experiences.
    The i-SAFE program provides students with the awareness and knowledge they need
    in order to recognize and avoid dangerous, destructive, or unlawful behavior and to respond appropriately.
    The United States Congress has designated i-SAFE America, Inc., a non-profit Internet safety education foundation,
    to bring Internet safety education and awareness to the youth of the nation. i-SAFE is devoted to
    empowering students to take control of their Internet experiences by giving them vital knowledge that will
    enable them to act safely and responsibly. "

    (Note from Gwyneth:  I just learned about this program recently - and I am very impressed! I intend to involve my students, staff, community, and school with this program and to share it with more technology educators.)
    iSafe Information for Parents:

    Family Internet Safety Contract Children's and Teen's  Pledge
    Q&A on Child Safety
    Safety Information for Parents
    Internet-Related Safety Tips for Teens
    Interactive Safety Quizzes

    Articles About Child and Teen Safety Online

    Warnings signs that your child may have a problem with pornography on the Internet.
    Rules of the Road: Top 10 Things to Teach Your Children to Keep Them Safe Online
    Instant Message & Chatroom Safety Tips

    A USA Today Article: Keeping Internet predators at bay and a review of Internet filtering software.
    Cyber-Sierra Workshop 2002: Security Issues: Safe Surfin
    From the FBI: A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

    Blog Beware?
    "Does your child use blogging or social networking sites like MySpace, Xanga and Friendster? Read about the dangers and access safety tips for parents, children, and teens. See if you know the answers to the "Blog Beware" quiz and test your child or teen."

    Dangers in Chatting, Blogging and Instant Messaging

    Most teens say they've met strangers online
    Alarming NEW statistics

    Why Are Kids Still Surfing In The Bedroom?

    MySpace Invader
    A police detective shows teens and their parents that they're
    not as safe on MySpace as they think

    OMG, TMI!!!!
    Sample MySpace profile with posted Internet Safety mistakes.

    An excellent streaming video series of real-life stories about Internet safety topcs:

    "Cyberbullying: Feathers in the Wind"

    Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet to harass or bully others. Watch our new series and discuss with teens what they can do to avoid becoming a victim or victimizing someone else.

    "Julie's Journey"

    Julie left home for three weeks with a convicted murderer she had developed a relationship with online.

    "Amy's Choice"

    Hear the true story of a 15-year-old girl who left home to meet in person with a man she first "met" online. Read "Amy's Story" ˇ the story from her mother's perspective.

    "Tracking Teresa"

    Even though Teresa has tried not to reveal personal information online, she's left enough clues that she could find herself in danger.

    "Keisha's Crime"

    A jealous teen uses the Internet for revenge in this piece about peer-to-peer harassment.

     "Angela's Experience"

    What do you do if someone is harassing you online? This piece discusses netiquette and how to handle harassment appropriately.

    Excellent web site! Interactive, fun and informative!
    Areas for Parents and Educators, Kids and Teens!
    Please note: this site requires FLASH!

    "The NetSmartz Workshop® is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA) for children aged 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet.

    The goal of the NetSmartz Workshop is to extend the safety awareness of children to prevent victimization and increase self-confidence whenever they go online. These goals include how to:

    * enhance the ability of children to recognize dangers on the Internet
    * enhance the ability of children to understand that people they first ýmeetţ on the Internet should never be considered their friend
    * encourage children to report victimization to a trusted adult
    * support and enhance community education efforts
    * increase communication between adults and children about online safety"

    Bookshelf: a Few Suggested Books
    Safety Monitor by Detective Mike Sullivan.
    The best background and book on this subject so far, IMHO (in my humble opinion) I bought this one!

    (click on book cover for Amazon link)
    Congressman Dennis Hastert
    "Detective Mike Sullivan provides an insightful, easy-to-understand guide for families with home computers. Safety MonitorÝ is a wonderful tool."

    Book Description from
    "Safety Monitor" provides hands-on, step-by-step, practical instruction for parents. Using this book as a guide, they can take an active role in protecting their children from exploitation, sexual predators, adults-only content, pornography, and other harmful content that comes with computer and Internet access.  You'll learn:

    Internet & Computer Ethics for Kids: (and Parents & Teachers Who Haven't Got a Clue.)
    by Winn Schwartau, D. L. Busch (Illustrator)

    (click on book cover for Amazon link)
    Peter Smith, Information Technology Association of America ..."the driver's education course for the Information Super Highway."

    Book Description from
    "Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids (and Parents and Teachers Who Haven't Got a Clue)
    The Book of cyber-ethical Questions for the Information Age

    It discusses, in a non technical language that everyone can understand, one of the most serious issues facing us today:
    Hackers, Hacking and Cyber-Ethics.

    1. How should kids behave on the Internet?
    2. How can parents help their technically fluent children?
    3. What can the schools and teachers do to assist?

    Cyber Ethics is an important mission that you will want to be a part of, and this book is only the first of a series of books that will be appearing in the coming three years on the subject, all talking to a wide variety of issues. CyberEthics for Kids and Families!

    Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids is the first book to actively promote family and youth values and cyberethics in an entertaining, colorful way.

    Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids is a colorful, extensively illustrated book written in an easy to understand, non technical format. No other book has been specifically targeted at non technical parents, teachers and kids who are in the greatest need of ethical education on issues they donÝt understand.

    Unlike the small handful of older books which preach ethics and tell people how to behave, Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids does not preach or suggest what is right or wrong behavior. Instead, it provides situational discussion provoking questions for the reader, the parent and the educator to discuss, evaluate and form the basis for personal ethics."

    E-Mail Etiquette: Do's, Don'ts and Disaster Tales
    from People Magazine's Internet Manners Expert
    by Samantha Miller

    (click on book cover for Amazon link)

    Book Description from
    The etiquette rulebook was born 4,200 years ago, when Ptah Hotep prescribed proper behavior to ancient Egyptians. Netiquette, however, is a relatively new field. In E-Mail Etiquette, Samantha Miller sheds light on the dos and don'ts of attachments, mass mailings, personal and business e-correspondence, e-mail hoaxes, viruses, spam, and e-mail privacy. "E-mail should be the most polite form of communication ever invented," says Miller, the Internet manners expert for People magazine. Then why is so much of it so irksome? Miller's contributors complain about useless subject heads, unattached attachments, and those chain letters usually sent by one's mother. Miller herself weighs in on SHOUTING, signature lines, and emoticons. On-the-job e-mailers are advised never to write anything in e-mail "you wouldn't want to see tacked to the office refrigerator." Joke senders are counseled to "think of e-mail as a cocktail party.... You don't plant yourself in front of a group of partiers and tell jokes until they flee." Who wouldn't benefit from discussions about why spelling matters and when it's appropriate to e-mail a thank-you note? --Jane Steinberg

    Internet Filtering Software:

    One of the bests from my research. Only drawback, for Windows only...not for Mac or Linux users :-(
    (click on Cyber Sentinel box for purchasing information)
    Claims from the site:

    (click on Net Nanny box for purchasing information)
    Claims from the site:

    For MacIntosh Users both OS9 & X!
    (click on Content Barrier box for purchasing information)
    Claims from the site:
    "ContentBarrier sets up a protective wall around your computer. Its predefined categories let you choose what you don't want your children to see, and you can also create your own custom categories.
    ContentBarrier blocks adult web sites, sites with subjects not fit for children, and even blocks chats when predatory language is used. It blocks offensive content coming from the Internet.
    ContentBarrier works with multiple users; if you have several children, you can set different criteria, corresponding to their age or maturity.
    You can choose whether they have access to newsgroups or whether they can download files. You can set the program to let them only use the Internet at certain times, and on specific days. The program can even send you e-mail, automatically, when certain events occur.
    ContentBarrier keeps a complete log of all web sites visited, whether blocked or not."

    "CYBERsitter 2003 is designed primarily for home, educational and small business use. Even though CYBERsitter has been designed to be easily installed and used by the most inexperienced users, there are plenty of advanced features for power users too."

    To filter or not to filter, the choice is yours parents!

    Kids: Get your Internet Driver's License!

    Take this "Rules of the Road" test to earn your official PBS Kids Web license!

     With your parents permission, print it out!


    by Virginia Shea

                          "What is Netiquette? Simply stated, it's network etiquette -- that is, the etiquette of cyberspace. And "etiquette" means "the forms required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be required in social or official life." In other words, Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online." For example: TYPING IN ALL CAPITOL LETTERS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING!!!
    For more:
    Read the Core Rules of Netiquette, clicking on next page at the bottom of each screen.
    Take the 10 question Netiquette Quiz after you have read each section. Record your score.
    There's a lot of new words out there on the net and even more acronyms! If you find a word you don't know, check out this cool

    What R U Talking About?? Chat Acronyms and Dictionaries
    OMG! like chatters have their own language...
    so, check out to see what these ppl r saying!

    Chat Dictionary
    Chat Dictionary, Emoticon :-) List, & Chatiquette
    Find out what those acronyms and abbreviations stand for...
    Check out the: 
    Don't have enough of these :-)? :-O Check out the Smiley ASCII Emoticon list!

    Know Your Sources:How to Validate a Web Site
    Just because something is on the Internet does not mean that it's true or reliable. One must become a savvy searcher and know how to evaluate the sources that we see and use.
    A great example of this is an article by Alan November called The Web -- Teaching Zack to Think. Read the article.

    Privacy Matters
    The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has created a really cool site that explains all about Kidz Privacy online.
    Read the list of 9 important things to know about surfing, privacy and your personal information. Then copy down the toll free number to call  (with permission!) after school to get your free book cover with these helpful online tips. Do not listen to the MP3 ad clips unless your teacher has made sure your computer has all the right plug-ins.

    Don't Be Duped by Misleading Banner Ads!
    Advertising online is a necessary evil. Some of our favorite sites could not exist without support from advertisers. However, some of the advertisers on the Internet who are trying to get you to click on their ads are not beyond a little deception to accomplish this task.  Once you click onto some of these ads, it's hard to get back to where you were! So don't be duped or fooled by misleading or attractive banner ads. An example of two of these kinds of ads are listed below:

    Sorry, you're *NOT* a winner. (Well, you are in my book!) But, just like the junk mail you might get in your real mailbox or
    email inbox, saying you've "just won!" it's a gimmick. Don't be fooled.

    This fake error ad is working on either your fear or your frustration. Fear that you are not up-to-date with your
    speed or frustration that the computer may be going too slow  (and who does not want to go faster on the net??)
    What it's really trying to sell you is something else. Don't be fooled.

    for funding and generous support:

    "The Horizon Foundation is a strategic, action-oriented philanthropy
    dedicated to improving community health and wellness. An
    independent, not-for-profit public charity, our mission is to
    promote and enhance the health and wellness of the
    Howard County, Maryland community."

    "HorizonHelp, a web-based information and referral service for residents of
    Howard County, Maryland. HorizonHelp, a project of The Horizon Foundation, was initiated to
    assist the community at large, as well as local health, human and social service providers in
    finding programs and services to fit their needs, or the needs of their constituents."

    This site was adapted and updated from: are you net savvy? a directed internet task

    Thanks to the following sites for information, graphics and links!

    Federal Trade Commission and Ms. Claudia Bourne Farrell
    Ms. Virginia Shea and her Core Rules of Netiquette
    Mr. Alan November
    Safe Surfin'
    Kidz Privacy

    Parent & Teacher Resources

    Maryland Public Television - MPT.  This is bigger than television.
    WNET Internet School Primer -This excellent Internet Primer is "designed especially for K-12 teachers"
    Internet Safety Game for Kids - for Elementary kids.
    Internet Search Tools Quick Reference Guide for Students and Teachers from SEIR*TEC - The BEST search tool cheat sheet! Print it out!
    The WebQuest Page- by Bernie Dodge - The master guru of all things WebQuest!
    Get More from the Web - This page chock full of great links to assist the educator in getting more from the web!
    Internet Integration:  A Jump Start - a resource for teachers.
    WebQuests@Work - What they are, where to find them, and how to use them.
    Easy Web Design! -  A no-nonsense, easy to follow tutorial that I wrote on how to create your own web pages using Netscape Composer.
    Features a lot of screen captures and graphics so that you can be "on the net" in a jiffy! (hope you like it!:-)

    for more information/questions/extra links or ideas feel free to contact
    Gwyneth Anne Jones

    FastCounter by bCentral

    This page was made using a Mac, baby!

    first created 7.12.2000
    changed and adapted: 2.08.04
    last updated 05.02.06

    * says me. gwyneth a jones...disclaimer: the ideas expressed on this page reflect my thoughts and opinions only. not those of howard county public schools or the horizon foundation. they are not a substitute for your best judgment. don't blame me if things go wrong and your kid looks up stuff she/he shouldn't.
    nothing is 100% safe, the world is a wacky wonderful and sometimes scary place. be careful out there!
    and don't forget, in the words of Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune-
    Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)