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House Rules for Instant messaging

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  • As I surf the 'Net, I promise never to reveal to someone I meet online my real name, address, telephone number, or the school I attend or give out my photograph. I promise to be sure that I am dealing with someone that my parents know and trust before giving out any personal information about myself online.
  • I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do, I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact our internet service provider.
  • I will be careful when someone offers me something for nothing online, such as gifts and money. I will be very careful about any offers that involve my going to a meeting or having someone visit my house. And I will tell my parents about these offers.
  • I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and I will bring my mother or father along.
  • I will always tell my parents if anything I find online bothers me so they can contact our internet service provider.
  • No one should ever ask me to keep secrets from my parents. If someone I meet online asks me to keep a secret from my parents, I will tell my parents.
  • I pledge to remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because I can't see or even hear the person it would be easy for someone to lie. For example, someone indicating that "she" is a "12-year-old-girl" could, in reality, be an older man.
  • I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate websites for me to visit. I will not access other websites or break these rules without their permission.
  • If someone is on my e-mail "buddy list," "friend list," or "contact list" and I only know that person online, he or she is someone I should be cautious about because I don't know him or her well. I pledge to wait to get to know my "online friends" just as I get to know all of my other friends. I need to let my parents know who my "cyber friends" are.

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