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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).