An Online Safety Quiz for Parents and Youth
Parents and youth should take this Safety Quiz together online.
This "role-playing" quiz is designed to generate a fun conversation about online safety between parents (or teachers) and youth. Ideally, after completing this quiz, both parents and youth should negotiate and agree to obey a set of written online safety rules.
A suggested set of safety rules can be downloaded from the link below, and at the end of this quiz. [Parents and Teachers: You may want to print and read these safety rules before starting the quiz with a youth]. These suggested safety rules are the same rules that are used in this quiz. The rules are based on the Online Safety Rules and brochures created by LA Times columnist Lawrence J. Magid for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
If these rules don’t exactly fit your family situation, change them to fit your circumstances. These rules are important, and while the wording of these rules has been chosen carefully, rules only work if both parties–parents and youth–agree to make them work. Create online safety rules that work for your family situation, and then stick to them! Negotiate clear but reasonable penalties for violating the rules, too. Then print and sign your own copy of "My Online Safety Rules", and post it prominently, or download the free online safety screen saver from main Internet Safety Resource Page.
To see or print "My Online Safety Rules", click here!
“Jimmy” writes to you from a chat room:
"Hi — my name is Jimmy — I live in Santa Barbara, and I’m 9. I love to swim, but I can’t use the pool right now, even though the weather is great (I live in California) because I have the measles. I have a pet lizard named Nelix. What’s your name? Do you have any pets? Where do you live?"
You just told “Jimmy” that you can’t give out personal information. “Jimmy” writes back to you:
“Aw, come on…those rules are just for babies. I stopped following those stupid rules ages ago. Anyway, what are you afraid of?”
You met “Jenny” through a chat room a couple of weeks ago, and after talking to your parents, they gave you permission to tell Jenny what city and state you live in. It turns out that Jenny lives in a nearby town in the same state. “Jenny” sends you the following message:
"Hey — guess what? My birthday is two weeks from now, and my mom says I can invite a couple of friends over for cake and ice cream. Can you come? I’d really love it if you can…I really, really want to meet you, ’cause we like so many of the same things. My mom can even come to pick you up!"
You didn’t attend "Jenny’s" birthday party, but your parents did arrange a supervised meeting with "Jenny" and her "mom", which is supposed to take place the following week at the local library. One week before you meet, Jenny emails you a digital copy of her class picture, and says:
"How do you like my picture? Now you can recognize me when we meet at the library! Could you send a photograph of you, too, so that I’ll know what you look like? I’m really worried that we won’t recognize one another."
You are chatting online with “Jimmy” and “Jenny” when “Sammy” joins your chat room. Sammy uses a swear word, and when “Jenny” tells him he should not use words like that online, “Sammy” starts writing things that are mean and insulting to you and your online buddies.
You are online and you select a hyperlink to a site that won’t come up because of the controls your parents have setup on your computer. You need to access the site because you are doing a homework assignment and your teacher gave you that site and several others to use in completing your assignment. Your friends tell you that site is great. You are pretty sure that the site must be OK, otherwise your teacher and your friends wouldn’t have suggested it.
You are working on your homework at “Sandra’s” house. You both use the same Internet Service, but "Sandra" can’t access as many sites as you can because of the controls on her family account, which are set for her little brother’s age. She wants to use your Internet Account to go online, and she asks you to tell her your login name and password so that she will be able to go to a really cool “homework helper” Web site to complete the homework assignment that you both are working on.
You are “chatting” online with your online buddies when “Sammy” the bully interrupts again, and he again tries to disrupt your conversation.