Information for youth and children (and parents too!)
It's funny how many people think they know, but in reality do not. In fact maybe you do know, but do your parents?
There's some great stuff out there on the internet you might accidentally(?) have already found some of the unpleasant stuff as well. The problem is that some of the dangers are hidden, such as web pages containing viruses, or rather 'trojans' - programs designed to hide on your PC and record what you do online. It might not affect you unduely apart from slowing your computer down, but if you are old enough to buy things online or check your bank balances it becomes a whole lot more inconvenient!! - So do make sure you are using an upto date virus protection (one that updates itself on a weekly if not hourly basis!) and also a firewall.
Do you use a 'safe' password, something no one else can guess? If you can look it up in any dictionary it is NOT safe. Remember computers are fantastic at carrying out repetative tasks and testing any log-on by submitting a whole dictionary or two of words is actually a matter of minutes if not seconds. Even replacing letters with common substitutions are not that safe anymore, eg safe becomes s4f3, but it does make a stronger password.
Have you told a friend your password? If you have then it is not safe, no matter how much you trust your friend.
Do you use something that's personal to you? E.g. address, your sibling's name, pet's name? This might be easier for you to remember, but it can also be guessed. So make it a combination of things if you have to do this.
So what is a safe password? A truely random sequence of letters and numbers which you have never told anyone else is about as safe as it gets. Adding special characters such as ! or ? if these are available helps as well. if you have difficulty remembering such a random sequence, then go for a combination of letters and numbers made up from parts of things you know e.g. postcodes (ZIP codes), telephone numbers, car registration plate, house number, school, place of work, street you grew up, etc...
(Information courtesy of Childnet International)
Sites offering help and advice on all issues for youth and children.
Chat Danger www.chatdanger.com
Advise for children and youth on the safe use of online chat rooms (IRC, etc) and the possible dangers - Part of Childnet International
UK Charity providing a confidential helpline for children to call in the UK. Good website for children including information on school problems or trouble at home or tips on how to be a good friend. If you are a child in trouble or in danger ring them. Its free... Keep trying if they are engaged, unfortunately you are not alone! Need their number? 0800 11 11
Childnet International www.childnet-int.org
A non-profit organisation working around the world to help make the internet a safer and a great place for children.
For Kids By Kids Online (FKBKO) www.fkbko.net
The childrens section of 'The Once Project' providing vital information on how to stay safe on the net and tricks to learn whether the other person is genuine and catch them if they are not.
Valuable advice for staying safe while using the internet given by this American non-profit organisation (Hyperlink opens their page within this sites frame, so you can easily browse the information and come back here...)
Charity committed to keeping children safe from harm or abuse focusing on preventative policies and tactics to use before any abuse takes place. Website concentrates on material dealing with bullying and contact information for the organisation.
(National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) The UK's primary charity dealing with prevention of child abuse. Also has a 24 hour helpline 0808 800 5000
A multi award winning site set up by teenagers for teenagers. Founded by Oli in response to being bullied at school, 'Pupiline is a bright and bold site..' that has attracted a lot of media coverage and often referred to in Radio 1's, late night "Sunday Surgery" as a valuable source of information for teenagers.
NB Content on this site is for teenagers and certain areas may not be suitable for children.
The Once Project www.theonceproject.net
Good source for learning about identity deception in chat rooms and how to fight it.
UK Missing Children Website www.missingkids.co.uk
A site dedicated to help reunite missing children with their families. The site has support from a number of UK charities and organisations.
|www.pupiline.co.uk||- Written by teenagers for teenagers|
NB. While all the above links provide good advice, be aware that some sites cover other issues and may not be so suitable to for younger children / non teenagers.
Did you know a hoax can do just as much damage as a virus? Protect yourself by keeping yourself informed!