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Privacy and Internet Safety

What are some good rules for screen names and passwords?

Make sure kids come up with strong passwords and know never to share them. If kids need to write down passwords to remember them, consider writing down password hints, and store any written-down passwords or hints in a super secret place away from the computer. Consider using a password manager such as LastPass, which keeps all your passwords in one place.

 Password tips to share with kids:

  • Make passwords eight or more characters long (longer passwords are harder to crack than shorter ones).
  • Try not to use dictionary words as your passwords (nonsense words are better).
  • Include letters, numbers, and symbols (these make it harder to guess passwords).    
  • Change your password at least every six months (this way, even if someone does guess a password, he or she won't be able to get into your account for long).
  • Don't use your nickname, phone number, or address as your password.
  • Give your password to your parent or guardian (they will help you remember it if you forget it).
  • Sharing your password with your friends is not a good idea (even if you trust them, they might unintentionally do something that puts you or your information at risk).
  • Create a password that's unique but memorable.

Screen name tips to share with kids:

  • Avoid using your real name.
  • Skip personal details (no ages, addresses, or jersey numbers, for example).
  • Consider a screen name's effect on others (make sure it's readable and inoffensive).
  • Keep it clean (avoid bad words or anything sexy, which can attract the wrong kind of attention).
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Teen, 15 years old written by Greasybacon

If you are under 13 years old usernames should definately not include name or age. As for passwords, never use the same password on different sites. Use common sense and dont make anything too obvious. Generally there are very low chances of being "hacked" but it is always good to be safe
Adult written by Samuel B.

I have a few tips too. Never put numbers in your username. They will most likely hint at something personal and also make you look kind of kiddish. Next, for password. This should be complete overkill. My current password is a 26 alphanumeric code. You may not need this many letters and will only need about 10-12. Keep your password randomized but not too randomized. I know a lot of parents who like to keep their kids password like "their name,birthday." That is horrible. Try to avoid keeping real words in it too. But don't add symbols. If you have a good password, you should be able to say it out loud properly and without problems. Here's a random one: Andlessnpoin1029. That's not my password by the way. Every password is hackable, but just make sure its unable to be cracked by somebody who doesn't know much about computers. Also, if your kids are dealing with a problem with a hacker, you should probably check who they are talking too and who they messed with. You should never come across a hacker-maybe a scammer but not a hacker.
Kid, 9 years old

It's very important to not use your real name, nickname, age, jersey number, school, ect. in your screen name because hackers might find your identity.
Adult written by ghost s.

I think it is awful that people dont know what hackers are, and I don't blame you. It's a very closed off community. I suggest that you read up on how the internet works (IP addresses, DNS) and then you'll start to realize that anyone could get your location just by being on a site that uses p2p. Hackers don't care about your identity, hey might get your accounts but that's different. These are some good resources look up DNS and IP addresses also
Teen, 16 years old written by Silverfall

Screen names should never include your real name, and should not be sexual in any way. Passwords should be 8 or more characters, the first letter should always be a capital, and should contain both letters and numbers, and at least one special character.
Kid, 11 years old

For the screen name . Never choose a screen name that states if your a boy or girl . Never put a location in the screen name . Don't use profanity either . For the password . Don't pick a dictionary word pick a nonsence word like derp. Make the first letter a capital . If you wish to use a a password like potato at home . Make it differnt by making it potato @ home instead . If you thing you have been hacked change your password asap
Adult written by ghost s.

Use a random password generator. Any script kiddie will be able to brute force your password if it even makes any sense at all. You can save it in your browser, their a lot less likely to crack an MD5 of a password that is completely random.
Teen, 17 years old written by McGunz

Attempt to make the first word a capital. Put something only you and, maybe your family will know. Make sure it has four to five random numbers at the end. The numbers and capital put a little more security on your account.
Parent of a 13-year-old written by fleecy34

Don't put your real name or passwords under 8 characters change your password every 3 months as people can figure out your password also people now hack a lot more than they used too nether tell anyone your username and password for example when I was reading the newspaper this morning a little kid told a child at school his username and password for moshi monsters and as their parents put their banking details on it the child who got told racked up a bill of £1000,000,000 before they could change their password oh and people also scam now in icloud mail email mail app stores games and shopping websites so be careful
Teen, 13 years old written by buzzerb

Using someone else's username and password is not hacking. Hacking will only occur if someone really wants to get into the account as it is highly time consuming and difficult .
Teen, 14 years old written by gerry farahm

thats not true hacking is gaining access to information that youre not suppose to i imagine that social media sites take a couple minutes to hack if you have the right computer knowledge
Adult written by ghost s.

NO, I've been hacking for a very long time and I can tell you that getting passwords is not easy. You can brute force the account wich will take up to a year. You can use a fishing scam wich would work if somebody was gullible. You could also get the MD5 from the server, but you would have to find an exploit in the server, and most hashes now use salting so cracking them is now almost impossible.
Teen, 14 years old written by A.Critical.Character

I disagree with a couple of these points. Changing your password every six months isn't always necessary, it depends on the situation. If it was the pin for your checking account then yes change it more than every six months. But if its only your childs Webkinz or Clubpenguin account don't bother because 1. Why would anyone want to hack into your childs moshi monster account 2. The likehood of it happening is minuscule And 3. Would it even matter that much if it was hacked. If you are choosing a username for a social media account where u connect with your friends but don't want to have your actual name connected to the account, you can use just bits and pieces of your name. For example if your name is Christina McQueen. You could have your username be Chris_McQ or queen.tina. If the names are already taken just tac a number on the end. For kids though I do not recomend using nicknames cause it's just not necessary. Also a tip for passwords and usernames is stringing random words, numbers and phrases together such as likable.lemur31 or change letters for numbers, sh00t-f0r-the-m00n. Also using allererations can make the words flow better and easier to remember.