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Commandments for Kids using Internet
by Raj Mehta

Since the availability of Internet in India 1995, increasing numbers of young people are using it for different purposes. In large part, it has been used for entertainment purposes. However, Internet can be great source of information and a great tool for education.

But from my friends I have heard several horror stories how young people have gotten in fix when using this medium for fun. Most of the time, this happens when they are using chat rooms. If you have time to kill (waste) it is 24 hr. party which goes on in a chat room.

Over 3 years of being in touch with users through TheGuide and reading on the Web issues which arise in context Kids using Internet has led to formulate following simple practices which will reasonably ensure pleasant experiences for the Kids.

Of course these are not the final set of rules for precaution. One has to use common sense to deal with any real situation. However these guidelines will help you think about how to avoid some of the unpleasantness that lurk on the NET.

Though couched in Old Testament style, these contain the wisdom which has been evolved by parents/teachers of young Internet Users over several years:

  1. Thou shall not give out any personal information like such as your address or phone number.
  2. Thou shall not give out address, phone number, or name of your friends at your school.
  3. Thou shall tell your parents that you see anything or anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  4. Thou shall not agree to meet anyone, you have met Online without the knowledge of your parents.
  5. Thou shall not send any person your photograph or anything else person without first checking with your parents.
  6. Thou shall not respond to any message which are mean or offensive that make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault that you might get such message. If you do, you will inform your parents.
  7. Thou shall talk to your parents so that they can set rules for going Online. They will decide upon the appropriate time for you to be online and appropriate sites you may visit.
  8. Thou shall not access other areas or break any of the set rules without the permission of the parents.

In addition to above, use common sense and good judgement to deal with situations online.

Copyright 1997-2000 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.