Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dealing with Cyberbullies - Tips for Teens

  • Don't reply.  You may want to respond, but this is exactly what cyberbullies want.  They want to know they've got you scared, worried and upset.  Don't give them that satisfaction.
  • Don't keep this to yourself!  You are not alone, and you did not do anything to deserve bullying.  Tell an adult you trust about the situation.  Don't try and solve this on your own.
  • Don't delete messages.  You don't have to read them, but you should keep them.  They are your evidence.  You may unfortunately get similar messages again, perhaps from other accounts.  The police and your ISP, and/or your telephone company can use these messages to help you.
  • Do get a trusted adult's help.  If you are getting physical threats:
  1. Call your local police.
  2. Inform your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or cell phone service.
  3. Protect yourself.
  • Never arrange to meet with someone you met online unless your parents, friends, or a trusted adult go with you.  If you are meeting them, make sure it is in a public place.
For more information go to www.cyberbullying.org.

This information is sponsored by the Illinois Library Association and myspace.com.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Safe Blogging Tips for Teens and Pre-teens

1.    Be anonymous.  Avoid postings that could help a stranger to locate you.  This includes your last name, address, phone numbers, sports teams, the town you live in, and where you hang out.

2.    Protect your info.  Check to see if your service has a "friends" list that allows you to decide who can visit your profile or blog.  If so, allow only people you know and trust.

3.    Avoid in-person meetings.  Don't get together with someone you "meet" in a profile or blog unless you are certain of their actual identity.  Talk it over with an adult first.  Although it's still not risk-free, arrange any meetings in a public place and bring along some friends, your parents, or a trusted adult.

4.    Think before you post.  What's uploaded to the Internet can be downloaded by anyone and passed around or posted online pretty much forever.  Avoid posting photos that allow people to identify you, especially sexually suggestive images.

5.    Check comments regularly.  Don't respond to mean or embarrassing comments.

6.    Be honest about your age.  Membership rules are there to protect people.  If you are too young to sign up, don't lie about your age.

This information comes from ConnectSafely.org and is sponsored by the Illinois Library Association.