Risks & Benefits
Like all modern technologies, the internet poses risks, especially for children and anyone else who is new to the net. These risks include:
- Child bullying
- Computer viruses and malware
- Fraud (scams)
- Identity theft/phishing
- Illegal activities
- Sexually explicit material
These risks should not deter you or your children from using the net. Most of these risks can be easily managed or avoided by sticking to a few simple rules.
The internet has changed the way the world works. With a few keystrokes we can be in contact with family members, friends, colleagues and customers all round the world. We can find endless amounts of information from a vast array of sources.
For a country as remote as ours from the big population centres of the world, the internet is a fantastic asset. We can communicate with almost anyone, buy almost anything and easily get hold of information that not so long ago was out of our reach.
For our children, the benefits are huge. They can work on a school project with children in New Zealand and other countries, gather information on any number of topics, visit museums, art galleries and libraries, see amazing wildlife and study subjects that are totally new to our country.
Safe Surfing Tips
- There are thousands of viruses on the net that can invade your computer. Some cause severe damage. Some steal your passwords and PIN numbers. Others can turn your computer into a slave – sending out spam messages on someone else’s behalf. To protect yourself from these and other risks, always maintain up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. Rocket Systems can advise you on the best products to use.
- Never give out personal information (name, date of birth, home address, bank account details) to people or businesses you don’t know.
- Do not respond to emails and offers from people or businesses you don’t know. Some email links may lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate web sites. Also – sorry – but the email that says you have won a prize in the Spanish lottery is a scam. Remember the old rule – anything that is too good to be true, probably is.
- Never, ever, give your banking or credit card PIN out to anyone. The email that seems to come from your bank asking you to confirm your PIN number really comes from a phisher who wants to empty your bank account.
- On social networking sites like Facebook, adjust the privacy setting so that friends are the only people who can see the postings made by you or your children. Some strangers on these sites may not be who they seem. That friendly Auckland teenager may really be a 50-year-old man.
- Never respond to emails or social media messages that are abusive, threatening, sexual or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they receive any such messages.
- Get to know the sites your children use. If you don’t know how to log on, get your children to show you.
- Set reasonable rules and guidelines for your children – especially the amount of time they spend on-line. It is important that the internet is not allowed to dominate their life – church, study, sport and play are still very important.
- Keep your computer in a family room rather than a child’s bedroom. Get to know your children’s online friends just as you would get to know their other friends. Discourage use of the computer late at night or at other times when you cannot monitor its use.
Internet Niue safeguards
Be a safe surfer
When users sign up with Internet Niue, they agree to not to use Internet Niue services to participate in any activity that is prohibited by the laws of Niue or the United States.
However, like most internet service suppliers, Internet Niue does not attempt to censor the sites an individual may choose to visit on the internet. This means someone with a Niue internet connection may visit any website they choose.
This should not be a concern. Adults who are safe internet users very rarely stumble upon sites with content that is illegal or unacceptable. Nor, if you monitor your children’s internet use, are they likely to be exposed to such sites either.
Owners of .nu domain names are not permitted to use their websites for any purpose that is unlawful in the United States or the country where their website is hosted.
‘Unlawful purposes’ include child pornography, child entrapment or abuse, advocacy of hatred, bigotry or violence towards persons or groups on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other immutable characteristics, theft of E-mail service, phishing (or other methods of fraudulently obtaining personal identity and financial account information) spamming or the abuse of free search engine services.
If you find a .nu domain website with unacceptable content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org