Internet Safety

Exploring the Internet... A Safety Message

The Internet can be a dangerous place even for adults. To minimize risks to safety and privacy, users should take a few precautions to protect themselves.

Always Log Off at the Library
When you use Library computers, always be sure to log off when you complete your session (close the browser by clicking on the X at the top right of the screen). This ensures that other people cannot access your personal e-mail account or other online transactions and prevents others from using your daily allotment of Internet access time (2 hours per day).

Online Shopping
Check out companies you do business with before you give them money. See if they provide physical addresses (not just post office boxes) and phone numbers on their web sites. An e-mail address should not be the only way to contact a business. Check with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau ( to see if they have a record of customer complaints.

Before giving out your real name, address, or telephone number, read the privacy policy of the organization or business you are dealing with. Sometimes a company will state that it does not give out customer information without the customer's approval. In other cases, a business will give out customer information but will not give out your information if you specifically ask them not to. If nothing is said on its web site, it should be assumed that a business may sell your personal information to third parties.

Shop at “secure” websites which use encryption technology to transfer your credit card information. Don't give out personal information or credit card numbers just to get more information on products. Personal information and credit card numbers should only be requested at the point of sale.

Email Attachments
Do not open email attachments that look suspicious or are from people that you don't know. They could contain computer worms or viruses that could damage your computer. They could also access your address book and send embarrassing emails to your friends and co-workers using your email address.

Do not believe what other people say about themselves while chatting online. Remember that the online environment makes it easy for unscrupulous people to lie about their identities. Be very cautious about revealing your real name, address, or telephone number or about agreeing to meet strangers you have chatted with.

For More Information or To File a Complaint

Rev. 6-03