McAfee AVERT Blogs - Security and Childrenís Web Sites
Itís always a good time to discuss computer security issues with your children. Hereís some thoughts to start:
1) Generally, donít talk to strangers. Unfortunately, children are not going to abide by this, as part of the fun of online games is to meet and play with other people.
2) Donít tell anyone your real full name. A first name should be good enough.
3) Donít tell anyone your age.
4) Donít tell anyone where you live. For purposes of playing with new-found friends on-line, just tell them the state, or the time zone and when it would be possible to play together again.
5) To register online for games, donít give out your birthday! As a general rule, always use January 1st. If the site has a requirement to verify the userís age, then the year of birth could be used. But all online birthdays should be January 1st. (All horses have a birthday of January 1.)
6) Many sites now ask only for your zip code. But even there, if youíve ever lived at a different address than you do now, use that old zip code. In fact, if the site is not going to be actually sending you anything via US Mail, use that old address for all registrations.
7) Establish an online email account for the purpose of using it as the registration email address for any online registration.
8) Establish an answer to the online ďsecurityĒ questions, like ďName of favorite petĒ or ďMotherís maiden nameĒ. Especially for something like ďMotherís maiden nameĒ which is actually used for identity purposes later in life, make up an answer. If your children have a school mascot, whatís its name? And just use that same answer for all the *online game* registrations.
9) And if thereís going to be money involved, always require that a parent be involved.