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Kids Turn Computers

Have you been IM'd?

Regardless of which Instant Messaging program you use -- safety is very important.

Be sure to know and understand all features of your IM program and how to use them.


Staying Safe

Basic, common sense, Internet safety applies to all forms of online communication, including instant messaging:

Never give out full name, full address, phone number or other information that may identify you. If registration requires this information always get parents permission. Never give this information out in an IM message.

Other instant message safety and security rules include:

  • Select a non obvious password - a meaningless combination of letters and figures is the best. Change it often and never give it out to anyone.
  • Protect your IP address. IP being your Internet Provider address [a series of numbers assigned to your Internet connection]. This information allows users to track you if they have this number. Check with the IM program you use on how to suppress this information.
  • Secure your IM program. Use the features on your IM program to: Ignore users, Hide your identity, Become 'invisible' and Hide your IP number.
  • Do now swap files, particularly with people you do not know.
  • Do not send content sensitive material. Due to the fact that the nature of the Internet and computers causes data flow to pass through many computers in various places, you can not be sure the information you send is secure.
  • If someone is bothering you on IM, put them on Ignore User. If they persist or you feel threatened report the behavior to your parents.
At no time should you feel uncomfortable online. If you do, you must tell your parents, a teacher, a trusted adult or the police.

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Topics | Computers | Safety