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Cyber-Safety for Everyone: From Kids to Elders

NCJ Number
M. E. Kabay Ph.D.
Date Published
82 pages
This booklet reviews the dangers that may affect people who use the Internet and offers safety tips, including new technology, to help keep Internet users safe from harm.
Each chapter of the booklet discusses a different threat from the Internet and presents practical guidelines for guarding against such dangers. Each section also offers a listing of further resources on the topic under discussion. Among the issues discussed are pedophiles, online dating and cybersex, hate groups, pornography, incorrect information, hoaxes, threats, viruses, junk e-mail, chain letters and Ponzi schemes, get-rich-quick schemes, Nigerian 4-1-9 scam, stolen software, stolen music and video, plagiarism, criminal hackers, online auctions, online gambling, buying on the Internet, games, spyware and scumware, Internet addiction, and identity theft. The booklet reports that Internet-mediated pedophile stalking has reached international proportions, with police forces around the world cooperating to shut down a ring of Internet child pornographers. Practical recommendations for avoiding pedophiles on the Internet include alerting children to the problem and warning them not to disclose personal information to people they meet online. Guidelines for cyber-daters of all ages include being careful about face-to-face meetings and being suspicious about anyone who insists upon meeting. Practical guidelines for preventing harm from online pornography include observing children while they are on the Internet by placing the computer in a family area. Tips for avoiding problems with plagiarism are to encourage students to practice summarizing information in their own words and to discuss anti-plagiarism Web sites that analyze documents for similarities to other documents. Guidelines for avoiding fraud in online auctions is to look for auction services that provide a guarantee of support for problems with receipt of goods after payment. Guidelines on online buying include reviewing the vendors reputation with companies such as the Better Business Bureau and reading the company’s privacy policy before making a purchase. Avoiding Internet schemes such as Ponzi schemes involves withholding participation from any alleged multilevel marketing system that requires a substantial investment. Steps that can be taken to avoid identity theft include keeping vigilant about one's bank account and where personal information is placed and ensuring that one's financial institution will not change contact information without personally checking first. Resources