Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences

Vol. 40 No. 4 , Pages 439 - 452 , 2003

Safe and Responsible Online Behaviors for Children

Shu-Hsien L. CHEN


The Internet makes new learning opportunities possible for children by offering vast amount of resources and powerful communication means. Oftentimes, the Internet is the first resource children choose for information seeking. Other than schoolwork related resources, the Internet contains unlimited interesting and entertaining information for children. As going online becomes a favorite pastime for millions of children, teachers and parents need to caution children about the negative side of the Internet. They need to teach children online safety and responsibility, and further, monitor their online behaviors. The article, first, discusses the possible threats to children’s online safety, including potential sex offenders, pornographic materials, and unethical marketing tactics aimed at children. Then, it addresses unethical and irresponsible behaviors, such as plagiarism, spamming, and hacking, which are committed or may be committed by children. Finally, the article explains how teachers and parents can help children become responsible and ethical Internet users.

Keywords: Internet; computer ethics; online safety; spamming; plagiarism; hacking

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