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Safe Connects’ Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

If the “real world” is a more positive than negative place for 99% of the planet’s citizens, then similarly, the Internet is a positive place for 99% of all of its netizens. These public service announcements are one small component of a much larger media and digital literacy campaign to increase Internet safety awareness. We were asked to be the “voice of youth” and prioritize, script, and star in videos that focused on the most significant Internet safety problems of the day. All education, government, and nonprofits are free to use Net Literacy’s content without attribution so long as it is done in a responsible manner. So when using these PSAs as a component of your Internet safety training program, please balance the discussions with teens and adults so that these PSAs are viewed in an appropriate context – that the Internet is an empowering and positive place.

We see it this way. The Internet is like a stove – it can burn you or cook your food. Teaching Internet safety is like a teaching a cooking class that discusses the many dishes that can be cooked on a stove – while all chefs should be mindful that a stove can burn you, the emphasis of a cooking class should be focused on the many dishes that a stove can help chefs create. For more information or questions about the importance of teaching Internet safety in a positive and responsible manner, please email danielkent@netliteracy.org.

Scroll down this page to view all 25 PSAs or click on the heading below to go directly to these three topics:

The Ten Most Important Things To Know About The Internet


Three Top Internet Safety Tips


Internet Safety In Everyone’s Life Summarized in 12 PSAs


 

The Ten Most Important Things To Know About The Internet

1. Net Predators

Net predators are adults who use the Internet to harm teens. They pretend they are teens to gain your trust and set up a face-to-face meeting. At the meeting, they will try to harm you or force you to do things you don’t want to do. So be careful. Some people are not who they pretend to be. If anyone every makes you uncomfortable or if a stranger asks you to meet, shut off your monitor and immediately talk to a parent or trusted adult.


 
 
 
 

2. Cyber-Bullies

Bullies that use the Internet are called “cyber bullies.” They use email, instant messaging, and post comments to spread lies. So how do you treat a cyber bully? No matter what they do, it’s important to remember that they are trying to provoke you – you frustrate their efforts by ignoring them. If some tries to cyber bully you, talk with a parent or a trusted adult – they can provide advice or assistance.


 
 
 
 

3. Computer Viruses

Just like you can get sick, computers can get sick. A computer can get a virus if you open an attachment or download a file from someone you don’t know. Viruses can damage your computer and erase files. Prevent your computer from getting a virus: use antivirus software, keep the antivirus software updated, use good judgment before downloading anything, and don’t open files or click on links sent by someone that you don’t know.


 
 
 
 

4. Hate Websites

Hateful people build websites designed to trick and mislead people. Sometimes, they include both truth and lies to fool people. Hate websites target religion, race, politics, ethnicity, and even countries. They’re designed to spread lies and hate to hurt people. So don’t believe everything you see on the web. If it seems suspect, question it! Some websites are liars.


 
 
 
 

5. Password Safety

Protecting your password is important because if someone gains access to your password, they can steal your identity and your personal information. Practice good password safety by not tell anyone, even your friends, what your password is. If you accidentally reveal it, change it immediately. And lastly, choose your password wisely. Don’t use your pet’s name, your name, or anything that could be guessed as your password.


 
 
 
 

6. Spyware & Adware

Spyware and adware can infect your computer. These are programs that are somewhat similar to viruses that can steal personal information and slow your computer down. On the Internet, one out of every ten websites can infect your computer with spyware or adware. Protect your computer by using anti-adware and anti-spyware software keeping this software updated.

 
 
 
 

7. How to Lose Tomorrow’s Job

Who would go into a job interview and curse or tell embarrassing stories? Well, you may if you use a website like MySpace inappropriately or blog inappropriately. Did you know that 83% of recruiters use search engines to learn more about candidates applying for a job? If you have friends that post to your profile and make references to drugs or alcohol – even in jest – it may reflect badly on you. You’ll end up not getting the job or scholarship you wanted – and will never know the reason why.

 
 
 
 

8. What You Say May Be Forever

On the Internet, what you post or blog can be held against you forever? So anything that you post could be archived and saved on the Internet – forever. Search on “the Wayback machine” – you’ll find a site that archives popular websites. Because personnel departments conduct Internet searches to disqualify job candidates, what you have posted in the past might be held against you in the future.

 
 
 
 

9. Spam Attack

Spam is flooding the Internet. How do you minimize the annoyance of Spam? First, ignore any sales offer received from a Spammer – it’s not worth the risk of buying from someone that might rip you off. Second, don’t give your email address to unfamiliar websites. Thirdly, don’t “opt out” or ask to be removed from a Spam email. Spammers will confirm the validity of your email address and send you even more Spam. Lastly, use Spam filtering software.

 
 
 
 

10. Netiquette

What’s Netiquette – it’s a word that means Internet etiquette. It’s just as important to treat people with courtesy and respect online as it is in real life. When you instant message, chat, or email someone over the Internet, they can’t see your face to tell if you’re teasing them or saying something in jest. How do you practice good Netiquette? It’s simple – just treat others as you want to be treated – with courtesy and respect.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Three Top Internet Safety Tips

 
 
 
 

11. How Sorry Should You Feel For Cyber-Bullies?

Cyber-bullies are weaklings – here are a couple of the reasons that you may feel sorry for them.

 
 
 
 

12. A Fast Way To Lose Your Dignity Online

How cool will you be after infecting dozens of your friends?

 
 
 
 

13. (Embarrassing) Pictures Don’t Lie!

Learn how sending embarrassing or explicit pictures can give ex-boy friends, ex-girl friends, and ex-friends the ultimate revenge!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Internet Safety In Everyone’s Life

 
 
 
 
14. Cyberbully Defense

Some cyberbullies have been abused at home and because they can’t stand up for themselves, they use the Internet to spread lies and hurt others.   If you’re cyberbullied, remember three things:  While it feels personal, it might not be because cyber bullies often have many victims.  Frustrate their efforts by ignoring them.  You can even take screenshots of their actions to a parent or trusted adult.

 
 
 
 
15. Beware of Facebook Stalkers!

Facebook stalking is creepy!   Stalkers use Facebook to secretly learn about your business.  Even if you’ve not friended a stocker, an event you’re attending can show up on the stalker’s events tab if one of your friends has friended the stalker?  Use the block features to carefully restricting information to only your most trusted friends.  So be safe, have fun, and don’t let Facebook stalkers creep you out.

 
 
 
 
16. It’s Not Cool to Infect Your Friends.

How cool will you be if you infect dozens of your friends?   On the Internet, viruses and spyware can steal personal information and destroy computers.  You keep yourself safe by using and regularly updating antivirus and antispyware software.  No antivirus software is 100% safe so never download unfamiliar files or open odd email attachments.

 
 
 
 
17. I’m not going to let them beat up my younger sister

I may be 13, but I am my 10 year old sister’s big brother.  I’m pretty savvy about how teens use the Internet, so I watch out for her – just like I watch out for my friends.  I wouldn’t let her get beaten up in the real world and I’m not going to let anyone cyberbully her online.  If you’re a big brother or big sister, teach younger family members how to safely use the Internet.  When big brother is watching, I’m protecting others.

 
 
 
 
18. Five Top Internet Myths

Do you believe any of these top five Internet myths?  Firefox is much more secure than Internet Explorer.  Installing antivirus software is enough to keep you safe.  Most virus and spyware come from porn and vulgar sites.  Phone apps and files from friends never have viruses.  You can’t get a virus by merely reading or previewing an email.  These are myths – they’re not true.  Be smart, be safe, and have fun online.

 
 
 
 
19. Cybebullies Talk Trash

Have you seen cyberbullies trying to be cool online?  When they talk trash, they sound stupid.  Many say the same stuff to different people.  Most cyberbullies fit much of their own trash talk.  Being mean may give them kicks, but cyberbullies are the real losers.  Since employers use the Internet to check out job candidates, people that cyberbully may have trouble finding jobs.  Cyberbulling is even a crime.

 
 
 
 
20. You can never have too many friends, right?

They say you can’t have too many friends but on some social networking sites like Facebook, that’s no longer true because your friends’ apps may be collecting TMI. Your friends may be giving their app companies your current location, status updates, religion, or relationship preference. Be smart about your privacy settings, choose your friends wisely, and don’t let friends’ apps make your business their own.

 
 
 
 
21. Maybe you’re the product, not the customer

Be smart about your Facebook privacy settings because your own apps could be collecting too much of your information. Some of the most popular social networking apps collect your name, religion, relationship preference, or the names of all of your friends. Check out what type of information your apps are collecting about you. If it’s creepy, delete the app. When the app is free…then maybe you’re the product.

 
 
 
 
22. Digital entanglements ending poorly

Some teens in love share everything, from locker combinations to exchanging class rings. In the digital era, some share their Gmail and Facebook passwords. But too often, these digital entanglements end poorly. Spurned and out-of-love, some ex-boy-and-girlfriends seek revenge by spreading each other’s private messages and email secrets. Your passwords are your business. Sometimes, it’s not polite to share.

 
 
 
 
23. What do you do when someone is being cyber-bullied?

Some teens don’t know exactly what to do when they see someone being cyber-bullied. If you tolerate the cyber-bully, then you’re problem of the problem. But, what can you to do? Should you standup for the victim, console the victim, or privately suggest that the victim take action against the cyber-bully? These situations can be complicated, so talk to a parent or a trusted adult for advice and guidance.

 
 
 
 
24. Do you enjoy applying for jobs and not being invited to interviews?

Are you applying for jobs and not getting interviews? 69% of employers have rejected a candidate because of what they found about them on social networking sites like Facebook. Inappropriate photos or comments about drugs and drinking, even when made in jest, can result in your application being eliminated from consideration. Find a job is tough enough; don’t give employers a good reason not to hire you.

 
 
 
 
25. A newsflash to cyber-bullies: good luck!

Here’s a newsflash to cyber-bullies: good luck trying to find a job in the future. 69% of employers have rejected job candidates because of what they found about them on social networking sites like Facebook. Cyber-bullies may be automatically disqualified because employers believe that they are more likely to cause trouble in the workforce. Their victims will have the ultimate revenge, years after they’ve been cyber-bullied.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

A Special Thanks to Bright House Networks

Bright House Networks took a chance on a group of middle school students in 2004 and has been supporting us ever since.  Through our partnership, we have donated over 5,000 computers to nonprofits and to students without a computer at home and increased Internet safety awareness to 100,000s of young and older alike!

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