CM V - Internet Safety – Do's and Dont's

Jyoti and Tejas were discussing about the leopard sighting in their campus.

Kaumudi: A scene from IITB where a leopard is sighted!

Also have a small notice with the instructions that our security officer gives.

Jyoti: I heard that a leopard was sighted near your house yesterday night. Did you see the leopard?

Tejas: No. The Security officer gave us instructions not to come out. So we stayed inside.

Jyoti: Today I saw a notice from the Security officer called “Be smart and stay safe”!

Moz: It is good to observe the rules of safety. On internet too you should follow some safety rules. Be SMART and make best use of the internet.

Tejas: What does the acronym SMART stand for? It is easy to remember though. Does the first letter 'S' stand for Safe?

Moz: You are right. S stands for “Keep Safe”. Let us look at the information that you should keep safe.

Jyoti: One safety rule that we know is to keep our password secret. We should not share the password even with our friends.

Tejas: We never give our address or our phone number to people whom we do not know. This rule can apply to internet too.

Moz: Both of you are correct.

Jyoti: Are photos personal?

Moz: Photos too are personal. So think carefully before you share a picture of yourself, your friends or your family. Why should you not give personal information to strangers?

Tejas: We do not know whether they are good or bad.

Jyoti: They can contact us.

Moz: Yes. On internet they can also pretend to be you and get you into trouble. So never give personal information to strangers.

Jyoti: Do people hide their age and talk to us like they are our age?

Moz: Yes. This is one of the biggest masquerading that happens. An old devil can pretend to be a young saint. They can trick you into giving all the information and harm you, your family or friends.

Tejas: How can they harm.

Moz: Let us understand this through an example. Let us call this person who is pretending to be a person of say 45 years old, Devil. He says that he is 12 years old and makes friends with Jwala who is 11 years old on the web.

Kaumudi: Can you please convert the following into a conversational strip to bring out the essence of the rule and also to make children never forget this rule.

Here is how the conversation goes.

Jwala: Hello.

Devil: Hello. My name is Sweta and I am 12 years old.

Jwala: I am also 12 years old.

After a few such conversations:

Devil: Today I am going for the movie xxx.

Jwala: I have not yet see this movie.

Devil: Will tell you all about it tomorrow. By the way here is my photograph. I am eager to see how my friend looks like.

Jwala send her photograph too.

After a few such conversations:

Devil: I stay in Hyderabad. Where do you stay.

Jwala: We stay in Sion, Mumbai.

Devil: So do you go to St. Xavier's in Sion.

Jwala: No. I go to Navnit near the station.

Devil: Do you have a play ground near your house to play in the evening.

Jwala: No. We play at my friend's place as all our parents are working. No one is at

home after we come home.

So the conversation continues and one day the person comes home to Jwala's place when her parents are not around and harms her.

Jyoti: I will never forget this rule.

Tejas: Then we should not give our School name and city where we live in.

Moz: You are right and never tell about the whereabouts of your family, friends etc. Never tell anyone that you are alone at home.

Kaumudi/Usha: Please think of some picture for the above. You can decide on the location where it should be.

In a box:

SMART - Keep Safe

  • It's important to keep your personal information safe and secret.
  • Do not reveal your personal information to strangers through email or any other internet application.
  • Passwords should be kept secret. Passwords should not be given to even your best friends.

What is personal information

  • Full name, emailid, password
  • Home address, school name
  • Phone numbers
  • Photos.
  • Details of your daily schedule.
  • Details of whereabouts of you, your family and friends at any time of day or night.
  • Details of your holiday plans.

Usha: Please put an example above if necessary.

Why should you not give personal information?

  • The information can be used to contact you.
  • Someone can pretend to be you, or not someone that he or she claims to be and possibly get you into trouble and harm you.

Moz: Internet is a medium through which you can easily keep in touch with friends and relatives. You may also make an online friend.

Tejas: My brother has made some online friends. But he says that we should not meet these people as we do not know who they are.

Moz: Correct.

Tejas: But why should we not mee them? They are friends.

Moz: On internet people can pretend to be what they are not. You have not seen them before making friends. The person can say that he or she is ten years old but can be an adult with not so good intentions. So you should be careful.

Tejas: Our parents instruct us not to talk to strangers. Sometimes the strangers can pretend to be very nice but they may not be.

Moz: Right. The same can happen on the internet. Best is, never arrange to meet an online friend.

Kaumudi: A picture for the above

In a box:

SMART - Do not Meet up

  • The Internet is a great way of keeping in touch with friends and family. You might also make new friends online.
  • However, you should never arrange to meet an online friend because it can be dangerous.
  • No matter how well you think you know people, they might be pretending.

Tejas: Look. In my inbox there are a few mails from someone I do not know.

Moz: Do not open the mails and do not reply to emails from strangers.

Tejas: See one of the mail subject says, “Happy Birthday”. The name of the attachment is “Gifts”. Can I please open this mail?

Moz: Is this email from a friend or a person you know? Is it your birthday today?

Tejas: No I do not know the person. And my birthday is not today but next month. What will happen if I open this mail.

Moz: Yesterday it was reported in the news papers about such a mail that is causing problems to many computers. There was also a warning not to open the mail. The screen can go blank if the attachment has a virus.

Jyoti: Does it destroy everything on the computer?

Moz: Yes. The computer will not start and you may have to reinstall everything.

Jyoti: Oh! That means if we had our files on the computer they would have been lost.

Moz: Correct. The virus is transferred through attachments to the computer. So, do not open attachments from people whom you do not know.

Tejas: Can other attachments also have problems like this.

Moz: Yes. It is possible. The computer can be safeguarded against these viruses. You will learn more about this later.

Jyoti: Look. I got an email which says, “forward this mail to ten more people. Do not break the chain”.

Moz: You should not believe in such mails and never forward such mails to others.

Jyoti: What happens if we forward the mails?

Moz: Well. First, you do not know the person. Second, do not believe in such mails. Third, such mails create unnecessary traffic on the internet which is called SPAM. Finally, if everyone starts forwarding such mails then our mail boxes will be flooded with junk mails and important mails will be missed out.

Jyoti: What is SPAM?

Moz: The mail you mentioned says “Forward to ten more people”. Suppose you forward the mail. Then each of the ten people to whom you forward, again forwad the mails. So now how many mails have been sent?

Jyoti: 10 times 10 that is 100 mails.

Tejas: Oh! No. I send to 10 people, each of whom send to 10 more, each of whom send to 10 more. So in just three levels of forwarding, 1 mail becomes 10,000 copies!

Moz: Correct. You got the point. Also never believe the predictions in such mails, which usually say, “Good things happen if you forward and bad things happen if you delete”.

Tejas (with an expression): Millions of these junk mails are going around on the network. What a waste of network.

Kaumudi: A picture for the above

In a box:

SMART - Do not Accept emails from strangers and do not open Attachments.

  • Email is a quick and easy way to send messages and share pictures etc with people whom we know.
  • However, Accepting emails, or opening Attachments, which contain pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems.
  • The Attachments in an email, specially from a stranger, may contain viruses or nasty messages.
  • The viruses can harm the computer. You can loose all the files on the computer.
  • Do not forward or reply to mails that you recieve from strangers and do not believe anything in these mails.
  • Chain mails that say “ Good things will happen if you forward and bad things will happen if you delete” should not be believed at all. Never believe in such mails and do not forward such mails. The exponential increase in number of such mails floating around the internet only cause internet traffic congestion and crowd an individual's mailbox.

Tejas and Jyoti do some exercises for a break and then they start searching for information about earthworms from the internet. They find some information which they could not believe is true.

Tejas: This web page says “earthworms live for more than 5 years. If you cut the earthworms into two or more pieces each piece will grow into a worm.” Can't believe it.

Jyoti: I have seen earthworms in our garden. Specially in rainy season. But I wonder if they can grow back into worms again.

Moz: Good thinking. When you feel that you cannot trust some information that you find on internet, ask your elders like teachers, parents.

Tejas: Does it mean that on internet, people can even write information which is not true?

Moz: Yes. It is possible. Anyone can publish on the internet. Internet does give us a lot of good and wide range of information. However, when we come across information that we feel may not be true or we have doubt about the information, then we need to think carefully before trusting such information.

Jyoti: Not only information, sometimes we cannot trust messages in mails too. I got a mail which said “You have won a gold set worth Rs. 10, 000. Pay Rs. 1000 when you recieve the gift towards delivery charges.” My friend also recieved such a mail. When she recieved the packet they found that it is junk jewellery worth about hundred rupees.

Moz: Correct. Never trust such messages and advertisements. They are not reliable.

Kaumudi: A picture for the above.

SMART - Check for Reliability of information and messages on the internet.

  • Internet is full of useful and amazing information. However, sometimes the information is not reliable.
  • People might say or write things which are untrue, so you should always think carefully before trusting what you see or hear.
  • Sometimes you might see adverts telling you that you've won one million pounds or a free computer. These type of adverts are definitely not reliable and you shouldn't believe them.

Tejas: Today our family is going for a movie. Can I search for information about the movie on the internet?

Moz: Yes. Go ahead.

Tejas enters the movie name and finds out about the movie and shows it to Jyoti.

Tejas: Jyoti, Would you like to join us. It is a nice movie.

Jyoti: I have to ask my parents. If they give me permission I will come.

Moz: Similar to taking permission when you go out you should also ask your parents when you want to use the internet.

Jyoti: My mother sits with me whenever I want to use internet. She not only helps me but we also discover interesting information together.

Tejas: I too browse the internet with my elder brother and sometime my father. Once myself and dad beat the computer in chess. It was fun.

Moz: Good.

Tejas: Once when my dad had some work I was browsing. Then I misspelled the word lego. I got some weird sites. I called my dad. My dad told me to just ignore such sites and correct the spelling and search again.s.

Moz: You have done the right thing. There must be some places where your parents might say that it is not safe for you to go. Similarly on internet too there are some web pages which are not good.

Remember to inform your parents if you come across information which you are not happy about or something which you do not like.

Tejas: Once we got a mail saying that all our friends are meeting in the park. It looked like it was from my friend. But none of us decided to meet. So, I told my parents about the same. They checked the email address and found out that it was not my friend's email id.

Moz: Correct. This is what you should do. Always inform your parents about such emails and also about information that you cannot believe in.

Kaumudi: A picture for the above.

SMART - Tell your parents, elders or teachers about any information or message that you do not trust.

  • Internet is full of fun and interesting things. But when you find something that you do not like or disturbing then you must tell your parents or elders whom you trust.
  • A message in a mail for meetings etc. should be discussed with your parents.

Jyoti: We follow these rules even otherwise. So now we need to follow the same even while using internet.

Moz: Correct. Now let us summarize SMART rules.

Kaumudi a poster here with the SMART rules summary. I am sending you a link where there are posters for the rules. Along with the heading of the rule we can put the illustrations like the ones in these posters. You may please decide the format - whichever gives the maximum impact.

Usha: You can get some worksheet ideas from these posters – match the following etc.


For Parents:

  • Read the lesson to find out the internet safety rules to be followed.
  • Additionally

Update antivirus software regularly.

Update software patches regularly.

Use filtering software.

Backup critical data.

Be aware of the services that your child uses on the internet. Understand the information that these services offer.

Get to know the friends that children make on internet.

Keep the computer in a general family room. Make sure to make this a family activity.

Kaumudi: A picture for each of the following situations in the worksheets.


  1. There were a series of burglaries in the neighbourhood of Sania. A spy was engaged to find out how these burglaries happened. Th houses of all the friends of Sania were burgled. Sania has recently made a few friends online. The spy found out that two of the online friends of Sania were the burglars. Sania is a very nice girl. She was aghast at the information that the spy found out. What was Sania's mistake? What did she unknowingly reveal to the online friends?
  1. Mitu monkey liked to sit on the rose apple tree by the river side and eat the apples. Crocky the crocodile observes this from the river. To make friends with the monkey Crocky talks with Mitu and expresses it's wish to eat the apples. Mitu picks a few apples and throws them into the river for Crocky. Mitu sitting on the tree, Crocky in the river, eat apples, chat away and become friends. After a few days, Crocky talks about the sweet ripe mangoes on the other side of the river. Mitu's mouth waters when it hears about the mangoes. Mitu also gets tempted by the offer of Crocky, to take Mitu to the other side on its back. So Mitu climbs down the apple tree and climbs on Crocky's back. Crocky talks very sweetly with Mitu while swimming. When they were half way from the other side of the river Crocky turns upside down so that Mitu loses balance and drowns in the river. Crocky thus gets a monkey's heart for his wife. What does this story tell you? What is the rule that Mitu the monkey did not follow?
  1. Sonu, Monu and Savani formed a team for a School project. For this project they had to gather information from various sources and prepare a report about the topic. All three friends worked hard and started preparing the report on the computer using a word processing application. The report was completed in a week's time and they had to take a print out. Savani's brother said that he will take a print out the next day. They saved the document. Later Savani's brother and brother's friends checked mails on the computer. Next day when Savani's brother started the computer an error message “Computer infected by virus” was displayed. Savani and his friends could not retrieve their project file for printing. Savani's brother who was also a computer science engineer, investigated and found how the computer got infected by the virus. How did this happen? What was the rule of internet that was not followed? What was the result of flouting the rule?
  1. A one day cricket match between India and South Africa is to be played in the city where Bholu, Shamu, and Venky live. All three wanted to buy tickets for the cricket match. An acquaintence of Bholu, Shamu and Venky informs them by word of mouth, that free tickets are available at the stadium from 9.00 a.m to 11.00 a.m on Tuesday. Bholu reads sports magazines. He reads the announcement in the magazine about the place where tickets for the cricket can be bought . Venky watches sports channel on TV regularly. While watching cricket he finds out the place where tickets are sold from an advertisement in the sports channel. Bholu and Venky buy the tickets. Shamu did not find ticket counters at the stadium. What was the mistake of Shamu?

a) Aliah, Sweta and Sahiti planned to go to the beach directly from school. They went to the beach and met some more friends there. All of them together went into the sea. Some of them knew swimming but Sweta and Vinay did not know how to swim. It was high tide time and there were warnings to people about drowning. The children did not listen and they were caught in the waves. Sweta was drowning. The life guard saved her but she had to be hospitalised. Her parents were searching for Sweta as she was not home after school and they could not believe that Sweta went to the beach. What was the reason of this accident? Why could Sweta's parents not believe what they heard?