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If you are a parent, talk to your child about internet safety.
Just as you talk to them about who they are with and what they do during at school
and after school, talk to them about who they are with and what they are doing online.

The internet is simply one more environment that your children need to learn to safely navigate, just as they are learning how to navigate school, community, and home environments safely – it’s nothing more, and nothing less. Also know that just as with traditional environments, appropriate behavior changes as your child gets older – what’s appropriate or acceptable for a 17 year old is different than for a 10 year old. The same is true online.

Tell your children that you won't blame them if they are the target of internet victimization, including being cyberbullied or the target of unwanted sexual solicitation. Stress that you won't take away their computer privileges - this can be a major reason kids don't tell adults when they are targeted.

When you’re looking for helpful tips and information online, make sure that the information seems balanced and relatively unbiased. Also, make sure that you know who has created the web site.

Here is a general guide to evaluating health web sites: http://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Conduct.html.

Internet safety
These websites have helpful information and tips for parents, teens, and younger youth:

• GetNetWise: http://kids.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/

• NetSmartzWorkshop: http://netsmartz.org/

Sexual solicitation
Unwanted sexual solicitation on the internet has received a lot of media attention. The Youth Internet Safety Survey, a national survey of youth conducted in 2000, reports that around one in five youth are the targets of unwanted sexual solicitation online every year.

If you think that you or someone you know has been the target of unwanted sexual advances online, please report what has happened to

CyberTipline: http://www.cybertipline.com/ (click on the link that says “Report”).

They are here to help investigate possible wrongdoing and help keep young people safe.

If you are looking for more information about unwanted sexual solicitation, here is a helpful web site designed for young people to teach them about the possible dangers some young people can face on the internet: http://tcs.cybertipline.com/.

Being harassed on the internet can be an upsetting experience for some people. Someone may be saying nasty things to you, or spreading rumors about you on Instant Messenger, or even creating a web page that says mean things about you. If this has happened to you and you are upset about it, talk with an adult you trust. Know that there are people who are concerned about this issue and want to help you.

Feeling sad
Everyone feels sad sometimes. Sometimes, some people feel so sad that they think about hurting themselves. If someone you know may be suicidal, here is some helpful information about teen suicide: http://www.nmha.org/infoctr/factsheets/81.cfm

If you or someone you know is in crisis or is feeling unsafe, please reach out to help. There is a toll free telephone number you can call: 1-800-273-TALK, or visit http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/suicideprevention/concerned.asp

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