True or False: Internet Safety Facts for Kids

Don't be fooled into thinking that the Internet is 100% safe all the time. Even if you're a computer whiz kid there are crooks and creeps that take advantage of people every day. Don't believe u

  • Fact: Panda Security reported that there were more than 75 million new malware samples detected in 2014.
  • Fact: 39% of kids report that they have had a bad experience online.
  • Fact: Social media is where 82% of cyber stalkers look for information about other people, including kids.

Knowing the Internet safety facts from the fiction can help you keep yourself covered when you're on the web. Now, let's take a look at some of the biggest myths so we can sort the online facts from the falsehood:

Cyber bullying is bad, but it isn't a big proble

False: Cyber bullying has become a bigger problem in recent years as more kids use social media. In fact, a recent poll showed that a third of kids between the ages of 12-17 have been victims of cyber bullying.

Google automatically filters out dangerous websites when you do a search.

False: SafeSearch can filter out adult content, but it has to be turned on. But it can't protect you from sites, extensions and apps that may infect your computer.

Facebook checks a person's identity to make sure they are real.

False: All you need is a real email address to create a Facebook account. The name can be completely fake. Many people, including kids, also create more than one Facebook account. One with their real info and another with a false persona.

Mobile devices are safe from computer viruses and malware.

False: When smartphones and tablets first came out the risk for getting a virus or being affected by malware was low. But now crooks and hackers have learned how to crack them too. Rule of thumb: if it is connected to the Internet it can be harmed by malware. Also, there are some threats that only affect mobile devices. You're most at risk when you are on a public Wi-Fi connection.

You have to open something to get a computer virus.

False: A few years ago you had to open a file in order for a virus to infect the computer. Today, cyber criminals are programming malware to trick your computer into opening files automatically. You also don't have to download anything to get a virus. If your computer doesn't have malware protection just visiting the wrong site can give you a virus. Even with protection there are things called drive-by downloads that can sneak past safety software by looking like normal web traffic.

You can tell if your computer has a virus.

False: Nowadays computer viruses are programmed to stay under the radar. The tech criminals don't want you to know that they have infected your computer so they can collect your information for as long as possible.

Strangers don't really use the Internet to try to trick kids.

False: Strangers are online every day just like they are in the real world. In fact, the chances of running into them on the Internet are high. Cox Communications reports that 28% of kids have been contacted by a stranger online.

It's important to always be on alert when you're online. Bullies, cyber criminals and creeps are everywhere, and it isn't always easy to spot them. Talk to your parents about using security settings on browsers, search engines and your computer's operating system. It's also important to install security software and keep it updated so that it can watch out for the things you may not see.