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Cyber Laws and Safety

This article was approved by Jim Adler

Using the Internet is a common activity. If you have ever used a computer or a tablet to find information or to talk with a friend, you have used the Internet. Although the Internet can be convenient and useful, there are also some dangers lurking. You may enjoy using social media to stay connected with friends and family. However, online predators and cyberbullying are two common threats that exist for kids on the Internet. Follow your parents’ rules about Internet use and safety. Any time you feel uncomfortable about something on the Internet, tell an adult right away.

Social Media

Hanging out on social media websites can be fun. You probably enjoy chatting with friends, looking at pictures, and seeing other people’s updates. As nice as it is to connect with others online, you need to be careful how you do this. Remember, you can never take something back or erase it once it’s been on the Internet. This means that pictures you share or words you publish will stay on the Internet even if you remove them later. When you use social media websites, you need to control what others can see about you. This means that your account settings should be set to keep your profile private. Don’t allow anyone that you don’t know in person to have access to your profile on social media.

The Internet

When you want to use the Internet, make sure it’s OK with your parents. Your parents probably have rules about how and when you use the Internet. Always follow their rules when you go online, whether you use a computer, a tablet, or a cell phone. Talk with your parents about what you do and where you go on the Internet. It’s also important to follow rules for good manners on the Internet. Be polite when you chat, post, text, or email other people. Remember, people can’t see your face or your body language when you talk online. This means that it’s easy to misunderstand statements and questions online because the text stands alone without a facial expression or body language to make it clear that you might have been kidding.

Online Predators

Online predators are people who use the Internet to search for victims. Kids are often victims of online predators. To stay safe from predators and people who might try to hurt you, always follow your parents’ rules for Internet use. Never share personal information online, including your full name, address, and phone number. The safest way to use the Internet is to never communicate with anyone that you do not know in person, such as school or neighborhood friends and family members. Never make plans to see anyone you meet online in person. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsure about something that happens on the Internet, tell your parents or another adult right away to get help.


You have probably seen a bully in action at school. Kids harassing other kids in the halls or on the playground has been an issue for generations. But computers and the Internet have created new threats to kids. Cyberbullying involves using any kind of technology to threaten, embarrass, or harass someone. This type of harassment could happen on a social media website, by email, by text message, or by online chat. Cyberbullying is against the law. If you or someone else is ever bullied by someone else online, tell a parent or another responsible adult about the situation. An adult can help you block the bully and report the crime.

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