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Updated: December 13, 2010 18:56 IST

Be safe on the info highway

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Very popular : Kids love these sites. Photo : AP
Very popular : Kids love these sites. Photo : AP

With more and more kids logging on to networking and game sites, the issue of safety becomes very important.

The safety of children when they are online is a growing concern among parents, as kids today spend more and more time on social networking and game sites. According to a survey conducted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) across 12 Indian cities last year, 63 per cent of urban students spend over an hour online daily. As per a recent Norton Online Family report, In India, 77 per cent kids say that they faced negative encounters online but only 50 per cent of parents were aware of this fact. There are many sites that try to provide safer environment for kids. Kid's sites like Club Penguin by Walt Disney have come out with options that allow more parental control and monitoring of online activities of children. Here you require parental permission to activate an account. Chat filters and live moderators are there to monitor chat and prevent the kids from sharing inappropriate or personally identifiable information.

Here are a few safety tips

Have a talk with your parents about safety measures that you should follow online like what you can do online and sites you can visit.

Never give out personal information online. Revealing your home address, telephone number, parents' work address or telephone number, credit card numbers, or the name and location of your school might put you and your family in trouble.

Never visit websites with content inappropriate for children and use chatrooms only under the supervision of your parents.

Be aware of cyberbullying. If you happen to receive online messages that makes you feel uncomfortable, show it to your parents. .Most kids who suffer or experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents as they are afraid they might lose their online privileges.

Never send pictures of yourself or family members without checking with your parents.

Never, for any reason, agree to meet face to face someone that you have met online. If someone asks you to do so inform your parents.

Don't open e-mails, files, or Web pages that you get from people you don't know or trust.

Never download, install, or copy anything from disks or the Internet without consulting with parents or elders.

Never share your password with anyone but your parents.

Be responsible and ethical when using the Internet.

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