Rights, Risks, and Responsibilities


  1. Become computer literate and be actively involved in your children's online experiences.
  2. Place computers in high-traffic areas, not in a child's room.
  3. Use screening software.
  4. Read unfamiliar e-mails. Monitor telephone and modem charges. Check out unfamiliar phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  5. Don't allow children to spend long periods of time on the computer, especially at night.
  6. Help children understand that online users may not be who they say they are or who they seem to be. Get to know your children's Internet friends.
  7. Tell children to report anything they come across online that seems strange or makes them uncomfortable and to tell you if they are asked personal questions or invited to personal meetings.
  8. Tell children to report to you suggestive, obscene, or threatening e-mail or bulletin board messages. Forward copies to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and insist they help deal with the problem.
  9. Be concerned if children mention adults you don't know, become secretive, or appear to have inappropriate sexual knowledge.
  10. Post the Internet Safety Rules for Kids by your computer.


Quick Facts

Your kids' personal information and privacy are valuable - to you, to them, and to marketers. Fortunately, there are ways you can safeguard that privacy when your kids are online.
  • Check out sites your kids visit, and see what kind of information the sites ask for or allow kids to post.
  • Talk to your child about the risks and benefits of disclosing certain information, especially in a public forum.
  • Take a look at the privacy policy, which should say what the site does with the information it collects. Then you can decide how you feel about it.
  • Ask questions. If you're not clear on a site's practices or policies, ask about them.
  • Be selective with your permission. In many cases, websites need your okay before they're allowed to collect personal information from your kids.
  • Know your rights. For example, as a parent, you have the right to have a site delete any personal information it has about your child.
  • Report a website. If you think a site has collected or disclosed information from your kids or marketed to them in a way that violates the law, report it to the FTC.


Jackson County School's Acceptable Use Policy provides  some helpful safety guidelines for internet use:
  1. Before using the internet, students will be required to successfully complete acceptable use training.
  2. Be polite. Use appropriate language. Do not write or send abusive messages to others.
  3. Do not reveal the personal home address or phone numbers of students or colleagues.

  • ISPs have a legal and ethical responsibility to address websites that traffic in child exploitation. Congress enacted the Protection of Children From Sexual Predators Act in October 1998, which requires ISPs to report websites hosting child pornography along with the identities of any users they discover accessing illegal images to Federal authorities. ISPs are also responsible for reporting predators who stalk children through online communications. ISPs aren't liable for image trafficking occurring on their networks that they're unaware of, though most providers aggressively attempt to block access to child pornography. Larger ISPs often use programs to search their networks for websites containing illegal images, and ISPs can also filter search results to block websites or file-sharing services where users could obtain illegal content.


    USE YOUR ISP'S (Internet Service Provider's) BUILT IN SECURITY FEATURES
    Many ISPs have built in security features such as firewalls, parental controls, spam and malware blockers, and filtering tools (see resources below).

    Strong passwords are important protections to help you have safer online transactions.

    An ideal password is long and has letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers.
    • Whenever possible, use at least 14 characters or more.
    • The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better.
    • Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often.

    A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that prevents unauthorized Internet traffic from entering or leaving your computer. A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. The best way to ensure protection is to use both a firewall and anti-virus software.
    Some operating systems have built-in firewalls.

    1. Check the domain. If the site is supposed to be a site about education, does the domain address end in .edu?
    2. Read the "About Us." Is there contact information, as well as a clear detailing of who is responsible for creating and updating the site?
    3. Check the last update. If the site hasn't been updated recently, it isn't a site from where you want to get information. The date for the most recent update usually appears at the beginning or at the end of the site's home page.
    4. Compare similar sites. Check other sites that are supposed to have the same kind of information as the site you are visiting.
    5. Use common sense. If the site is supposed to contain education information, for example, but it talks about unrelated things, it makes sense that the site is not valid

    The primary goal of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule is to give parents control over what information is collected from their children online and how such information may be used.

    The Rule requires operators to:
    • Post a privacy policy on the homepage of the Web site and link to the privacy policy on every page where personal information is collected.
    • Provide notice about the site’s information collection practices to parents and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children.
    • Give parents a choice as to whether their child’s personal information will be disclosed to third parties.
    • Provide parents access to their child’s personal information and the opportunity to delete the child’s personal information and opt-out of future collection or use of the information.
    • No condition a child’s participation in a game, contest or other activity on the child’s disclosing more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in that activity.
    • Maintain the confidentiality, security and integrity of personal information collected from children.


    The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. In early 2001, the FCC issued rules implementing CIPA.

    What CIPA Requires
    • Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal.
    • Schools subject to CIPA are required to adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors.
    • Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing: (a) access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet; (b) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; (c) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online; (d) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and (e) measures restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.


    Suddenlink (ISP)--customers can see what security option are provided and the link is provided to get your security services set up.  (Most ISP's have similar features linked to under  internet security on main pages).

    GetNetWise: Tools for Families:
    offers a  search option to find the security tool that is a fit for you.

    Check the strength of your passwords:

    Free download from McAfee to test the safety of websites