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The internet

computer; internet; information; web; network; chat rooms; virus; www; world; wide; download; website. ;


What is the internet?

An easy way to explain the internet is to think of your school computers all linked together into a network that you can put information into and get information out that you and other people in your school have put in.

Now imagine that a friend from another school wants to use your information and give you some of hers. You both connect your computers to modems that allow your computers to share information.

Other networks can connect to yours and to other networks. This is called inter-networking or the internet as it became known.

It is a way of sending information from one computer to another anywhere in the world using phones or satellites, radio links and a lot of other ways.

How do kids use the internet?

Here is a list of how some kids use the internet.

  • listening to music on the internetResearch for projects.
  • Games, finding and playing them.
  • Surf report and surf sites.
  • CD stores and music sites.'
  • Downloading music.
  • Finding pictures for hobbies, projects and your own interest.
  • Looking at girl's sites or boy's sites.
  • Email, sending messages to my penfriends and keeping in touch with family.
  • surfing the netTalking to friends on your personal network.
  • Kids site chat rooms.
  • Interactive projects at school.
  • Looking at school sites.
  • Making your own web site.
  • International internet projects.
  • Social networking sites.
  • Blogs.

Keeping yourself safe on the internet

There are two things that you have to be aware of on the internet.

  1. Keeping your personal details safe. 
  2. Being aware that people are not always who they pretend to be.


You need to take care with email because:

  • hot mailHackers can access personal email, and if you have personal information that you don't want everyone to know then don't use email to tell your friend about it.
  • Don't open files or documents on email unless you recognise the person who sent it. You might get a computer virus from a document that comes through email.

Rachel says, "Unless you are sending an email to a friend, don't give any personal information like your real name or address or you could get nasty people sending you nasty emails. Just delete any that are from someone you don't know without opening them."

Georgia says, "Someone sent my sister an email that had a virus in it and it damaged our computer, Dad was mad because he lost some work files."

  • web virusYou could get your name on a list and have heaps of adverts sent to you (called 'spam'). If this is happening to you ask mum or dad to talk to your service provider and find out how to block unwanted stuff.

Chat Rooms

Some sites on the internet are especially for kids and so you should be safe going into their chat rooms.

The only problems are that some of the people may not really be kids, but adults who are not very nice people.

Here are some ideas to keep you safe.

  • Always use a nickname; never use your real name.
  • Never give any personal information like your address, phone number, your family, or even your email address.
  • Don't send close up photos of yourself, where you live or go to school.
  • Close the conversation at once if you feel uncomfortable and tell mum or dad about it.
  • Don't post pictures which could embarrass you or your friends.
  • Tell your parents, your school or report to the police if you are being cyber-bullied. Our topic 'Cyber bullying - bullying from a distance' will tell you more.

Did you know?

In the 1960s a group of researchers working for the USA Government Defence Department invented a computer network that could keep working even if some of the computers were lost or damaged, eg during a war or a natural disaster.

computerOver the next 20 years or so big businesses, universities and other researchers joined this network until they made a web of networks that were all linked.

Then ordinary people started to use the internet and today there are millions of people all over the world who can use the internet in lots of different ways.

What kids said

  • I just don't click on any website or link that I don't know. Simone
  • I use Skype to stay in touch with my family. Peter
  • I like to play Ferraria; it's a really fun game. Alice
  • I play Minecraft with a group of friends who I already know. Gabe

Dr Kim says:

Dr KimThe internet is a great way to find and exchange information, talk to friends and have fun, BUT don't spend too long at a time on there. You need to get out and exercise, play in the fresh air with your friends and spend time with your family.

Make sure that you sit on a chair that supports your back and is the right height for you and move around often (even if you are in the middle of a really exciting project!)"


Website to find out more

See how much you know about keeping yourself safe online by checking out this site    

The Internet

Many people use the net,
And most haven't had trouble yet.
They will never get the flu
But they will get a virus or two.
Internet can be really great.
But make sure you're safe before it's too late.
Be sure that your real name isn't known
And that your face isn't shown.

By Emma
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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