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PBS Kids "Know Before You Go" Web Literacy Tips:

  • You know not to talk to strangers on the streetóbut what about on the Web? You wouldn't want strange people on the Internet to know where you live, either. Never give out your last name, address, or phone number without your parents saying it's okay.

  • Don't be fooled by free prizes! Before you enter a contest or give out any personal information, ask a parent for help. Free prizes may be a tricky way of finding out where you live so companies can sell you their products.

  • You know that some sites are good for kids, but not all of them are safe places. If you get scared or worried by a Web site, just click "Back" or log off.

  • It's not always best to follow instructions. Even if a club or chat room tells you to enter your address or other personal information so you can join, don't do it! Look for another kid-safe club that respects your privacy.

  • Finders keepers, and anyone who finds your email address on the Web can use it to send you mail you don't want or to find out where you live. If you get a message from someone you don't know, tell your parents right away.

  • The Internet is a great way to learn about other people that like the same things you do, but meeting your Internet friend in person could be dangerous. Let your parents know right away before you make any plans.

  • Attention big brothers and sisters! You may know how to safely surf, but little ones don't. Help them out by showing them how to find Web sites that are good for kids.

  • Did you ever hear someone tell a tale that you didn't quite believe? On the Internet, it's easy to make up stories about who you are. Remember that people you meet in chat rooms or on email may not be playing safely.

  • Trick or treat? Some sites use "cookies," or bits of recorded text, to either (1) gather information about the Web sites you like to visit, or (2) target potential buyers for their advertisers. You may block cookies through the preferences folder of your Web browser.

  • Web sites should always tell you (1) why they are collecting personal information and (2) what they're going to do with that information. If they don't, leave and go to a Web site you and your parents trust.

These tips are subject to change.
Last modified: September 21, 2005


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