WELCOME TO THE ONLINE SAFETY GUIDE FROM LEMONERDY!
The star of this show is a kid, but most people online are grown ups, like me – Eden’s mom. People from all corners of the earth connect via the internet, and that is amazing. The internet helps us to learn all kinds of things and “meet” all kind of people. Everyone can make themselves into anyone on the internet. People pretending to be someone they aren’t can be very dangerous. We want you to be safe on Lemonerdy, and on the other websites that you visit. How do you stay safe online? I have some tips for your parents to share with you, that can help you have fun and stay safe online. If you are a kid, grab a parent and have them go through this list with you.
- Keep your personal information personal. Don’t give it out online.
I wouldn’t walk up to someone I didn’t know on the street and tell them everything about myself. That would be crazy! IT would be even crazier if I did that while wearing a blindfold. When you talk to people online you don’t know them, you can’t see them a lot of the time, and they could tell you anything they wanted to tell you about themselves. It wouldn’t have to be true. Can you tell if someone is a kid like you if you can’t see them? Even if they send you a photo, how will you know that it is a photo of them that they JUST took? You don’t know, and that could be dangerous. Never give out any information that could tell someone where you live, where you keep your money (account numbers), where you are located in real time, how to find you (your whole name, phone number, address, your parents’ whole names, your school, where your parents work, your schedule, etc.) Don’t give it out by email, instant messenger, chat, or in any online posts on social media. Also, keep your friends’ and family’s information private as well and don’t share that with anyone online.
- NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR PASSWORD.
Would you hand over the keys to your diary? Hand a stranger your debit card with all your savings and allowance on it? Of course not! Also, remember to always log out when you use a public computer or if you let someone else borrow your computer – even if it is just for a little while.
It looks like it is a lot of words, but you have to take the time to read them all. Some websites are open to everybody to read what you write or upload, and you may not want that. Check to see if you can make your information private, and you and your parents can decide what is appropriate to share with the entire world or just with your friends and family.
- Be creative with your screen name – don’t use your real name, age, or hometown.
When you are just hanging out online, there is no need for people to know everything about you through your screen name. If you put your personal information in there, it is just like doing all the things I said could be dangerous in number one. Instead of “ShaySimpkinsinMiami2006,” try something mysterious, funny, or random like “ReelBigggDeal” if you like movies, or “FlourSugarWater19 if you have a bakery business you are working on in 2019. BE SUPER CREATIVE!
- Don’t download anything without your parents’ permission.
Even if it comes in an email or message that looks like it came from someone you know, it could be someone pretending to be someone else. Some things that you download can be viruses, add unwanted things to your computer, or spy on you when you are on the computer! Your parents can help you set up your computer to never download things automatically, and to warn you when you are about to download something by mistake.
- If it feels creepy, it probably is.
If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, or you get messages from people who make you feel unsafe, tell an adult, report it to the website owner, and if you feel threatened or your parents find it necessary, contact law enforcement, child protective services, and the police. You might not be the only person who feels unsafe.
- If there’s something you don’t want people to know, don’t put it online.
As soon as you click “Submit,” or “share, or “post,” whatever you put out there, stays out there. If you don’t want your parents, teachers, friends, family, or strangers to know something about you – an embarrassing photo or video or random thought – don’t put it online. If you think it could get you or a friend it trouble, or if you get the feeling that it shouldn’t be posted, don’t. If you see something inappropriate posted by one of your friends, tell your parents right away.
- Don’t set up meetings with people you met online.
There are amazing people on the internet. There are also terrible people online too. Sometimes it is hard to tell who is amazing and who is awful. Your parents and guardians are here to help you stay safe. If someone that you met online wants to meet you in person, ALWAYS tell an adult, and if they approve of your meeting, let the adults and parents make all the arrangements for you, and come with you. Never set up meetings with people you met online on your own.
I hope you have fun on the internet, learning cool things and getting to know kids like the ones featured on this website. Have fun, stay safe, and if you have questions, you can email us at l e m o n e r d y h q [at] g m a i l [dot] c o m.