Safe Communication via Internet

The internet is a world wide network of computers and electronic communication technology connected via various means such as telephone lines, wireless devices, and fiber optic cables to communicate and disseminate information almost instantaneously.

This also includes non-web enabled cell phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) in the mix. These devices allow for instantaneous interaction with another person through existing cellular phone networks without being on the internet.

It is clear that many adults may know how to check email, plan a trip, make an online purchase, do research, and use online banking services. However, most teens and many pre-teens know more about how to use computers and cellular technology than the adults around them. When it comes to exploring or accessing a variety of aspects in an online world, children are more adept at quickly understanding chat, instant messaging, blogs, and social networks. Adults actively exploring and learning about these areas will be better prepared to keep both children and themselves safe.

The Internet is more than the World Wide Web (WWW). Imagine it as a gazillion paddleballs bouncing at the same time.

Every computer using the internet has it’s own unique Internet Protocol (think Internet Paddleball or IP address) to communicate on the Internet.

Consider the IP address as the actual address of a computer. When you are connected to the Internet and send out information or a request for information such as a Google search or specific web page, the web page must know where to send the information back. The IP address goes along with the inquiry and tells the web page where to route the reply.

All correspondence of any kind including email, uploading or transferring files (called FTP) and peer-to-peer correspondence like sharing music files will include the sender’s IP address!

Advances in network technology allow Internet access and electronic telecommunications that include virtual access from essentially anywhere.

Think about it:

  • Desk and laptop computers
  • PDA’s and hand held devices
  • Web enabled cell phones such as IPhones, and Blackberrys
  • Text messaging via cell phones and
  • even non-web enabled devices

The portability of todays communication devices, increased connection speeds, and the ease of navigating the Internet provides youth with a venue to express themselves, meet new people, keep in touch, and explore anything and everything like never before.

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Internet Safety Protecting Children in an Online World

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