Chapter 5: Protecting Your Privacy and Security Online

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Chapter 5: Protecting Your Privacy and Security Online

CHAPTER 5:PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACYAND SECURITY ONLINEEvery time you go online, you face potential privacy and security problems. It should comeas no surprise that computers are vulnerable to attacks by viruses, worms, Trojan horses andspyware. These are known as malware or pestware, because they’re just plain bad (mal) orannoying (pest) software.For many high school students,understanding computers often means justone thing: downloading music. Anyonewith a computer and the right software canmake digital copies of music from CDs,store these copies on their computer’s harddrive and trade them with other usersthrough the Internet. What most peopledon’t realize is that when you use a filesharingsystem like KaZaA, Grokster,Gnutella, Morpheus or LimeWire, not onlycan you share MP3 files, movies, softwareand anything else that can be exchangedacross a digital network, but you areopening up your computer to all kinds ofmalware.With file-sharing, every user’s system acts asa server for everyone else’s, so there isalmost no way to control the flow ofinformation or what comes into yourcomputer. As a result, by opening yourcomputer to receive files from othercomputers, you are opening up your systemto a hornet’s nest of potential problems,including viruses, worms, Trojan horses,data theft and spyware, among otherthings.Perhaps you want to know a bit moreabout these pests and how to preventtheir destruction. Here’s a brief explanationfor each of these, followed by the bestprotections currently available. While thisapplies to others besides students andtheir use of computers, it is especiallyimportant for students’ advisers tounderstand fully the privacy and securityissues related to downloading on schoolownedcomputers.WWW.RTNDF.ORG/RESOURCES/HIGHSCHOOL.SHTML 57


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N ESome spywarehijacks you toother Websites orchanges theappearance ofyour Webbrowser.Viruses and WormsA virus is, in essence, a computer programthat’s usually hidden within another programor file. It tells your computer to dosomething that may be harmful, innocuousor even amusing. It’s called a virus because itspreads like a cold, and no one wants tocatch it. A computer virus is usually spreadthrough e-mail attachments. You could bepassing one from your computer to everyoneyou e-mail without even knowing it.A worm is a particular type of virus, but it ismore insidious than most. It can replicateitself and spread without any interaction onyour part. A worm usually takes control ofyour computer, using up resources; it mayeven send itself to everyone in your e-mailprogram. It can also open access to yourcomputer by others.Trojan Horses andSpywareSimilar to the Trojan horse of Greekmythology, today’s Trojan horse is any pieceof software that appears useful and welcomebut, once installed, sneaks other types ofprograms onto your computer. When youdownload music or computer programs, ifthe site states that it is supported by adware,there’s a very good chance that it will install aTrojan horse on your system, along with thedownload you requested. One of the mostcommon types of Trojan horse programsinstalled on computers is dialer programs,which use your computer and phone lines tomake expensive phone calls without yourknowledge.Spyware is often loaded as a Trojan horse,but may also be loaded by one of your ownsoftware vendors. A spyware program cansurreptitiously monitor your computer usageand report your actions to others. You mayhave given permission to a site or a vendorto monitor your online usage “in order toprovide better service to you,” or you mayhave gotten the spyware without yourknowledge. Some spyware hijacks you toother Web sites or changes the appearanceof your Web browser. Some is referred to as“adware” because it uses information aboutthe sites that you visit to customize ads toyour computer. There are also spywareprograms are known as “keyloggers”because they log every key you press andthen send the log to someone who maysearch the files for passwords, bank accountnumbers and so on.Although you may not mind receiving adsin order to obtain free downloads, or maynot object to the new look of yourbrowser, you probably would feeldifferently if you found that someone hadinstalled a keylogger on your system. Eventhe least harmful spyware—which simplyplaces cookies on your computer—canslow down your system considerably,eating up resources and bandwidth. Ifyou’re determined to download freebiesoff the Internet or to share files (music,movies, etc.) with others, be sure to disablefile sharing on all other files, so that noone can read files from your system. Manycomputer applications often run in thebackground of your computer when youthink you’ve actually shut them down.Look for a way to disable the file sharingaltogether.Another option is to create a specificdirectory to be shared and copy all the filesyou want to share into that directory. Makethat the only directory you share and don’t58 USING THE INTERNET FOR HIGH SCHOOL (AND PROFESSIONAL) JOURNALISM


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N Eenable sharing for any other directories orsubdirectories.Another simple and more thorough workaroundis to run a separate computer that isonly used for these downloads. If anythingthat you’ve downloaded is destructive, youcan reboot the computer from the originalstartup CDs that came with the computerand reload everything, if necessary. So longas you don’t do anything else on thiscomputer, or store anything of interest,you’re reasonably safe in downloading.Other Potential Risksto PrivacyPOP UPSPop-ups are ads that “pop up” in aseparate page when you’re trying to view aWeb site. Since advertising supports someof what is available to us on the Web, usersmay simply have to get used to seeingthese pop-ups. Most of these are just anuisance, getting in the way of what you’retrying to see. However, some are worse,downloading spyware to your system whenyou click on them. For protection againstpop-ups, see Pop-Up Stoppers below.COOKIESA cookie is a file that is placed on yourcomputer when you visit a Web site. Itusually contains some type of identifyinginformation such as a number assigned toyou, in order to identify you and welcomeyou back for return visits. It also cancontain your name, address and anythingelse that you care to fill out on the Website. A classic example of how thisinformation might be useful is a news sitethat allows you to customize what youwant to see on the front page of yournews. If you fill out your preferences (i.e.,selecting national news, sports,entertainment, your local weather, basedon the zip code you enter), the Web siteplaces this information into a cookie, storesit on your computer, and retrieves it whenyou return to that site, in order to give youyour own personalized news page. Ifcookies stopped there, they would not beof much threat to your privacy. But ofcourse, they don’t stop there.There are search engines that save theterms that you’ve searched on in order toguess at your interests and market to you.Frankly, they don’t do this very well. Ifyou’ve researched the company NakedFood-Juice or the radio show NakedScientists, you’ve very likely been identifiedas a pornography consumer, even if you’venever visited a porn Web site. There aresome unsavory consequences to this kindof misunderstanding, which will beexplained in the next section.There are also companies that cooperate insharing the information you’ve filled out,terms you’ve searched, and Web sitesyou’ve visited, in order to develop a morecomprehensive profile of your interests. Inthis case, even sites you’ve never visitedmay recognize you on your first visit.Companies that gather information aboutyour Web usage are usually interested inselling you something. If you don’t fill outany information on Web sites, they mayonly be able to send you pop-up ads;however, the more information youprovide, and the more that they share withtheir partners, the more likely that they’llalso obtain your e-mail address and startdeluging you with spam (junk e-mail).Pop-ups areads that “popup” in aseparate pagewhen you’retrying to viewa Web site.WWW.RTNDF.ORG/RESOURCES/HIGHSCHOOL.SHTML 59


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N EEvery time yousend your e-mail address toa company orWeb site,you’veincreased theodds that itwill make itsway to amarketingdatabase.To stop Web sites from recognizing you,delete the cookies that are already on yoursystem, use a firewall or other securitysoftware to stop cookies from bad sites,and make it a practice to remove yourcookies periodically. Be aware that stoppingcookies will stop you from accessing someWeb sites, and deleting cookies will deleteany preferences that you’ve set on the sitesthat you visit. See Cookie Crumblers belowfor additional information.SPAM (JUNK E-MAIL) OR UCE(UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL E-MAIL)If you’re a spam fan, you’re in luck: There’sno way to get rid of it! If you’d like toreceive an e-mail box chock full of ads, allyou have to do is perform some onlinesearches, and fill out your e-mail address ona few Web sites.Worse than junk mail, if a search enginehas erroneously identified you as aconsumer of porn, your spam can come inthe form of extremely graphic and shockingpornography, which can even go tochildren. You can’t opt out. You can’t eventell marketers, “No thanks, I’m notinterested in your porn, but could you sendme ads for educational products?” In fact,if you click on a link to remove your e-mailaddress, you have confirmed that it is agood address, and it is more likely to beresold, increasing your spam. Going to theWeb site of a marketer to fill out their optoutform can even result in you receivingmore spam or in spyware being loaded onyour computer. The Federal TradeCommission has been trying to tackle thespam problem for a while, as has thelegislature of every state. None of theseefforts has been successful.Until they are, you can take steps to slowmarketers from getting your e-mail address:• Don’t give out your e-mail address. Everytime you fill it out on a Web site, or sendan e-mail to a company or Web site,you’ve increased the odds that it willmake its way to a marketing database.• If you must give a company or Web siteyour e-mail address, read their privacypolicy first, and be sure to check off anyboxes that allow you to “opt-out” ofmarketing.• Don’t ever place an e-mail address linkon a Web page that you create,including that of your school. There areautomated tools (bots and spiders) thatcrawl across Web sites to harvest thistype of information for resale. In fact,according to research conducted by theCenter for Democracy & Technology, e-mail addresses posted on Web sitesattract the most spam.• If you must place an e-mail address for acontact on a Web site, try one of thefollowing methods to confuse the botsand spiders:– Replace characters in an e-mail addresswith human readable equivalents (e.g.,person@company.com) would bechanged to “person at company dotcom”).– Insert e-mail addresses onto your Webpage as pictures or word art, ratherthan text or links.• Understand that these methods mayonly work for a short time until moresophisticated bots can be programmedto work around these strategies. Neverrespond to spam.• Don’t use your “good” e-mail addressfor Web site questionnaires. Try one ofthe following instead:– Use a disposable e-mail address. Many60 USING THE INTERNET FOR HIGH SCHOOL (AND PROFESSIONAL) JOURNALISM


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N Ecompanies (such as Hotmail andYahoo) will give you free e-mailaccounts that you can change as soonas you start receiving spam on them.Your ISP may also provide extra e-mailaddresses that you’re not currentlyusing that you can create, use anddelete at will. There are evencompanies (such as SpamGourmet, E-mailias, Mailshell and Spamex) thatprovide temporary e-mail addressesthat expire at a certain point, or aftera certain number of messages.– Try to make your e-mail messagesanonymous, using an Anonymous Remailer,as explained below.• NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy anythingfrom a spammer! If spamming didn’t sellproducts and services, spammerswouldn’t use it.See Spam Filters below for additional tacticsfor dealing with spam.CHAT, AIM, INSTANT MESSAGING ANDNEWSGROUPSChat is not private. Neither arenewsgroups. When you chat online, younever know who is eavesdropping. Thereare people who misrepresent their age,gender or other important factors in orderto gain your confidence. Adults canbecome victims, but students are especiallyvulnerable to online predators.Twenty-four percent of 550 American teenssurveyed by Harris Interactive in 2003 saidthey had been contacted online by a strangerwho tried to arrange an off-line meeting.Microsoft’s MSN service shut down its chatrooms in 28 countries partly due to concernsabout sexual predators preying on minors.But those numbers continue to grow.In addition to predators, spammers use chatrooms to collect e-mail addresses in orderto add them to databases for resale.If you participate in online chat ornewsgroups, there are some basic rulesmeant to keep you safe and outwitspammers:• Never give out personal information,including the name of your school, yourreal name, your photograph, your hometown or any other identifyinginformation.• Don’t use your “good” e-mail addressfor newsgroups. Try one of thecompanies listed above for a disposablee-mail address.• Make your newsgroup messagesanonymous, using an Anonymous Remailer,as explained below.• Never plan a face-to-face meeting withanyone you meet online. If you plan tomeet someone, take an adult with youor talk with your parents first.A WARNING ON NEWSGROUPS ANDCHAT ROOMSFor the sake of a news story, you shouldnever quote anyone you met in anewsgroup or chat room. Any informationthat you gain there should be verifiedelsewhere. Chat room and newsgroupinformation should be treated as gossip,and be given just as much credence.When it comes to online privacy, you canbe your own worst enemy. It starts withwho has access to your computer. Ifcomputers are shared among many users,Chat is notprivate.Neither arenewsgroups.When youchat online,you neverknow who iseavesdropping.WWW.RTNDF.ORG/RESOURCES/HIGHSCHOOL.SHTML 61


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N EThe bestprotectionagainstcomputerviruses andworms is agood virusprotectionpackage.as they are in school, arethey secured so that theycan’t be removed orstolen? Are theypassword-protected sothat the data on them isprotected, and so that noone can sendinflammatory or illegalmessages from them?What about thosepasswords? Do all of the users of thecomputers have unique, less-than-obviouspasswords that are kept private (nevershared with friends) and changedperiodically?If the computers are physically secure andpasswords are handled responsibly, there isstill the need to educate all computer usersabout the need to keep personalinformation private. Privacy software can’tsave you from yourself: If you’re sharingyour password, or placing your e-mailaddress, name, home address or otherprivate information online, you are yourown worst enemy when it comes to onlineprivacy. Before purchasing a privacysoftware package, look at the morefundamental ways that personalinformation is gathered and make sure thatappropriate policies and practices are putinto effect and honored. Online privacyproblems are as much people problems asthey are computer problems.Privacy ProtectionThere are many wonderful and some notso-wonderfulprivacy and online securitypackages available, both over the Internet(sometimes for free) and in the stores. Theyare not all alike, and some can causeadditional problems onyour system. A programthat is effective today canbe out-of-date tomorrow,when new privacy threatsare discovered.Rather than recommendinga specific program, a moreprudent approach wouldbe to read current reviewsby industry experts andactual users. Before using a free version orpurchasing a full version of any softwarepackage, see a review site like ZDNet (selectSecurity & Utilities under Software atreviews-zdnet.com.com), or PC Magazine(select Reviews at www.pcmag.com) to findout if there are any problems with thesoftware you plan to purchase or download,whether it will do all that you hope and iseasy to use.VIRUS PROTECTION SOFTWAREThe best protection against computerviruses and worms is a good virusprotection package such as NortonAntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan. YourInternet Service Provider or school may runyour e-mails through a similar package foryou automatically. If not, you absolutelyshould have a virus protection package onevery computer that you send or receive e-mail on, and should be sure to update itfrequently so that you’ll have protectionfrom newer viruses as well. If your virussoftware is not updated, your computer willbe vulnerable to each new virus thatemerges.Macintosh computer users have had greaterprotection from the threat of viruses, butthey should not become blasé about this62 USING THE INTERNET FOR HIGH SCHOOL (AND PROFESSIONAL) JOURNALISM


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N Ethreat. Virus protection software is a goodidea for all computers.ANTI-SPYWARE PROGRAMSMany sites offer to scan your system forspyware for free. They are not all the same.Some will scan your system and notify youof the spyware, but will not remove it,while others will do both. Many will installtheir software onto your system in theprocess, which can be very difficult toremove. All are hoping that you will buythe full version of their software.You will find that each anti-spywareprogram catches a different set of spywareprograms, and it’s probably worth runningmore than one on your computers toremove every detectable piece of spyware.At that point, you’ll want a firewall to stopnewer spyware from getting into yourcomputer, as spyware producers keepgetting more imaginative and ingenious atthwarting the firewalls. You’ll also need todownload updates or run newer versions ofanti-spyware programs periodically to catchwhat your firewall misses.POP-UP STOPPERSThe best way to avoid annoying or evenmalignant pop-ups is to use a pop-upstopper/blocker program. There are manyavailable, and some are free. Google,Yahoo, MSN and others offer one with theirfree toolbar, and some ISPs do as well.Most of these do work pretty well but, asalways, read the reviews beforedownloading or purchasing software. It isimportant for you to read the reviews andget the latest, greatest pop-up stopper, asthe tools change often and all of them canchange their mission at any point.COOKIE CRUMBLERSThere are software packages specificallydesigned to remove cookies from yoursystem. You can also do this yourself.Instructions for removing cookies can usuallybe found on your browser’s support Website. Further information about deletingcookies and stopping them from comingback can be found from Junkbusters(www.junkbusters.com/cookies.html) andTinHat.com (www.tinhat.com/internet_cookies/index.html). Some othertypes of privacy software, such as firewallsoftware, often include cookie removers, sobefore you purchase one, make sure youdon’t already have a cookie remover withinanother privacy package.SPAM FILTERSSpam filters can stop you from receivingsome junk mail. Your e-mail software mayperform this function, with settings oroptions that you can select to screen outsome spam. The risk is that a spam filterthat catches all spam can also rejectmessages from your friends, family andassociates, so you should understand theoptions before setting them.Your Internet Service Provider may alsoperform this service for you, or you canpurchase one of several spam filteringpackages available on the market. Themain problem with these packages is thatspam creators learn what the packages doto identify spam, and then change their e-mail messages to outsmart them. It’sdefinitely a cat-and-mouse game at thispoint. If you purchase a spam filter, makesure it’s the most current version anddownload updates often to stay one jumpahead.Spam filterscan stop youfrom receivingsome junkmail.WWW.RTNDF.ORG/RESOURCES/HIGHSCHOOL.SHTML 63


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N EA firewall issoftware thatplaces a barrierbetween yourcomputer andthe Internet(or smallercomputernetworks).Some spam filters let you keep your spame-mails in a “holding pen,” which allowsyou to view them and approve messagesfrom senders you recognize.ANONYMOUS RE-MAILERSAn anonymous re-mailer receives e-mailsfrom you, strips off your identifyinginformation and re-mails it to thedestination of your choice. Most of theseservices charge a monthly or yearly fee, butthere are still some free re-mailers as well.For more details on how they work, see thispage from About.com e-mail.about.com/library/ weekly/aa031300a.htmWhile students may not use these, someinvestigative reporters use anonymous remailersto work on undercover investigationprojects without revealing too muchinformation about their employers. Still, it isworth everyone knowing about them.FIREWALLSA firewall is software that places a barrierbetween your computer and the Internet(or smaller computer networks). It stopsunwanted programs from being installedon your computer and stops others fromaccessing your computer without yourknowledge. Ideally, it also stops yourcomputer from sending information toothers without your permission.You can purchase a firewall or downloadone, or your ISP may provide one. Eachcompany makes different claims aboutwhat their products does, as “firewall” hasbecome a generic term, and has beeninterpreted by many software developers tomean different things. In order to competewith all of the other firewall software, thecompany may also include a cookie crumbler,anti-spyware program or other softwaremeant to provide additional protection ormake the product easier to use.Spyware developers and virus creators arevery interested in and knowledgeable aboutfirewalls, as they continue to build softwarecapable of bypassing as many firewalls aspossible. For this reason, it’s important thatyour firewalls are updated regularly, andthat you continue to scan your system forviruses and spyware, even after installing afirewall.INTERNET FILTERSThere are several types of Internet filtering.Filtering of search results is provided bysome of the search engines. For example,Google offers two levels of “Safe SearchFiltering” on its preferences screen(www.google.com/preferences), Yahooprovides two levels in its “Safe Search Filter”(search.yahoo.com/search/preferences?pref_done=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yahoo.com&fr=fp-top),and AltaVista offers a “Family Filter”(www.altavista.com/web/ffset?ref=Lw).There are Web guides or directories such asYahooligans (yahooligans.yahoo.com)and Cool Safe Links for Kids, Parents andTeachers (www.karscot.com/kidlinks.html),providing safe content for kids.There are also Internet filtering softwarepackages available for purchase. Most ofthese come in the form of Parental Controlsoftware, which include Internet filteringand online usage monitoring, and may alsoscreen e-mail. These packages are createdto keep kids safe online, but they are nosubstitute for parental supervision.64 USING THE INTERNET FOR HIGH SCHOOL (AND PROFESSIONAL) JOURNALISM


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N ESome schools and companies have createda subset of the Internet, providing only sitesthat have been filtered and deemed safe.Sites like The Children’s Internet(www.childrensinternet.com/home.html),MSN Kidz (kids.msn.com) and EarthlinkKids Channel (kids.earthlink.net) all providekid-oriented content, parental controls andfiltering capability for their users.If your school has Internet filters for thestudents, or if students use the filtered versionsof search engines, be aware that these canskew their research. For example, if a studentis researching breast cancer, sites containingthe word breast may be filtered out due toobscenity filtering. Similarly, if they look fornews about the 2004 Superbowl, many sitesand stories might be filtered out because ofthe Janet Jackson “clothing malfunction,” inwhich she revealed her breast on nationaltelevision. This type of filtering can affect anyjournalist’s ability to see the big picture and dohis work, and illustrates why journalists of allages need sources other than the Internet fortheir research.ONLINE MONITORING SOFTWAREOnline monitoring software is sold in a fewforms. One popular type is meant to allowparents to monitor their children’s onlineusage and keep them safe, as noted above.Another type is marketed to spouseswishing to surreptitiously check on theirmates. Another type is for employers whowish to make sure that their employeesaren’t wasting time on the Internet, orsending out company secrets via their e-mail. There are also keyloggers, which keepa file of every transaction you make inorder to follow in your online footsteps andfind out where you have been. Any ofthese can also be used by an individualwishing to see if anyone else has used hisor her computer. So you see, onlinemonitoring systems can be used to invadesomeone else’s privacy or to secure yourown. While this may not be important forstudents at school, students should beaware that their every online move may bemonitored at home if parents areconcerned about their online activities.SYSTEM BACKUP AND ROLLBACKPROGRAMSYou can and should manually back up all ofthe critical data on your system on a regularbasis. There are programs that canautomate this process for you.Rollback programs take it a step further,saving copies of your system and revertingback your whole computer to a previous pointof your choosing when problems areexperienced. It can be difficult to decide whento revert to, as it’s not usually clear when avirus or piece of spyware was loaded to yoursystem. Each can sit dormant for some timebefore causing trouble and making itselfapparent. That’s why it’s useful to have manybackups from which to choose in casemalware re-emerges and you need to moveto an earlier version of your system.INTERNET OR ONLINE SECURITYPACKAGESInternet security programs, online securitypackages—these terms can apply to any ofthe privacy software covered to this point,or any combination of it. There is no singlepackage that does it all (although someclaim to), but a true online security packageshould cover as many of the types ofthreats and protection as possible. Whencomparing online security packages, you’llYou can andshouldmanually backup all of thecritical data onyour systemon a regularbasis.WWW.RTNDF.ORG/RESOURCES/HIGHSCHOOL.SHTML 65


C H A P T E R5 : P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R P R I V A C Y A N D S E C U R I T Y O N L I N EAlthough theInternet is anindispensableeducationalandcommunicationtool, and hasbecome anintegral part ofvirtually everynewsroom,there aredangers online,particularly tochildren andteens.be comparing apples andoranges, as they all offervarious types of protectionfrom assorted collections ofthreats. Even if two programsare designed to protect youfrom spyware and viruses,they don’t protect you fromthe same spyware and viruses,or accomplish this with equalsuccess.It’s up to you to decide which protections areessential to you, and what the best value is.This can be very complicated, as some of thefree packages are excellent and you won’tneed to make a purchase, and you probablyalready own some of the pieces of yourprivacy and security picture. Some packagesmay also offer capabilities that you don’treally want or need.After assessing your privacy and securityneeds, and determining which can be metwith your existing software, read currentindustry reviews of all of the softwarepackages that you’re considering, along withuser opinions. Providing these resources issome of what the Internet does best, andwill help you to make informed and wisedecisions to keep students safe. Your schoolsystem may provide online security packagesand some may not allow you to provide yourown. Be sure to check your school’s policies.The JournalismTeacher’sResponsibilityIn addition to privacy software, every schoolthat teaches students to access the Internetshould have privacy and security policiesand procedures that are not only in placebut taught to every student and teacherwho accesses the Internet.If you don’t have such policies andprocedures in place at your school, checkwith the people in charge of technology atthe school. If they are not equipped tohelp, check with your school district orboard of education. If you don’t find thatthe online safety issues have beensufficiently addressed at your school, youcan find additional help from organizationssuch as i-SAFE America (www.isafe.org), anonprofit organization whose mission it is“to educate and empower youth to safelyand responsibly take control of theirInternet experiences.” Another excellentsite is SafeKids (www.microsoft.com/presspass/safekids/), created by Microsoft, incooperation with the Naperville (IL) PoliceDepartment’s Internet Crimes Unit and theIllinois Attorney General’s Internet TaskForce, and intended “to help parents andeducators teach children the fundamental‘rules of the road’ for safe exploration onthe information highway.”Although the Internet is an indispensableeducational and communication tool, andhas become an integral part of virtuallyevery newsroom, there are dangers online,particularly to children and teens. It’simportant that the adults in charge take aproactive approach to providing both asafe online environment and the educationto handle online usage safely andresponsibly. This is the responsibility ofevery teacher who sends a student to theInternet for information. Fortunately,teachers and organizations around theworld are willing and able to help youaccomplish this. ■66 USING THE INTERNET FOR HIGH SCHOOL (AND PROFESSIONAL) JOURNALISM

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