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! 

Are you ready to take the 

Get Net Smart Quiz? 

Lesson #1: 

“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 should:

Tell him your name and the name of your pet and where you live, because he seems really friendly, and he’s sick.

Give him only the same information that he gave to you in his message.

Tell him that you aren’t allowed to give out personal or identifying information. 

Lesson #2:

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 should: 

End the conversation without replying to his message, and tell your parents about the conversation.

Tell him that you’re not a baby, and that he isn’t being very smart if he isn’t following the online safety rules.

Tell him that you’re sorry you made him mad, and answer his questions.

Lesson #3:

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 should:

Tell her that you can’t wait to meet her too, and give her your address so that her Mom can pick you up.

Tell her that you hope she has a great birthday, but that you and your parents have safety rules for meeting an “online buddy” for the first time.

Tell her you’ll ask your Mom or Dad, and if they say yes, that you’d love to come.

Lesson #4:

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 Should: 

Tell her you’re looking forward to meeting her too, and email her a recent picture.

Tell her you’ll get back to her with your answer later, and ask your parents whether or not you can send her a picture.

Tell her that you don’t have a digital picture to email to her, but that you’ll send her one through the regular postal mail.

Lesson #5: 

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 should: 

Defend yourself and your online buddies by insulting “Sammy” right back!

Ignore “Sammy” and hope that he will get bored and leave the chat room.

End the conversation, and tell your parents.

Lesson #6:

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 Should: 

Use an alternate site until you can inform your parents of your needs and ask their permission to use that site.

Go to your friend’s house to use their computer to access the site.

Try to override the controls your parents setup, so that you can complete your homework assignment on time.

Lesson #7: 

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 should: 

Tell her your password, but make her promise not to tell anyone else.

Tell her you’ll login for her because she’s a friend, but don’t let her see the keyboard to while you input your password.

Tell her that it is unsafe to share identifying information like login names and passwords and that you can’t give her that information or enter it into her computer.

Lesson #8:

You are “chatting” online with your online buddies when “Sammy” the bully interrupts again, and he again tries to disrupt your conversation.

You should: 

End the conversation, and tell your parents.

Inform your buddies that you have already told your parents about this bully, and that he’ll be kicked of the Internet service soon!

Decide that enough is enough and stand up for yourself and for your friends by being nasty right back!

Congratulations — 

You are now certifiably Net Smart!

Rules one through six in the ‘Get Net Smart Quiz’ and the ‘Online Safety Rules’ are adapted from the brochure Child Safety on the Information Highway by Lawrence J. Magid. Printed copies are available free by calling 1-800-843-5678. Based on “My Rules for Online Safety” with permission from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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