Internet Safety: Kids' Protection against Spam Your kids' email addresses may be bombarded by unsolicited junk emails or spam everyday. So it is very possible that they open emails and download attachments from unknown senders. Since spam is known to be a growing source of computer viruses, your kids may be inviting internet-based threats unknowingly. Thus, it is very important that they know what to do to avoid attracting junk mails and keep their computer free from viruses. Teach your kids to protect their email addresses. Make sure they know that it is dangerous for them to share their email addresses to someone they don't know through instant messaging, online chatting, and signing up to websites for access. This is because, spammers (those who send spam) use programs like crawlers, bots, and spiders to collect email addresses from the web and add them to their spamming lists. If they are currently receiving spam, tell them to not open and download attachments from unknown senders. They should also be advised not to download attachments from known senders unless they have solicited them. Tell them to resist from posting their primary email address through forums or use it to gain access from websites. Instead, create a dummy email or secondary email address that will be used for these purposes. Teach them to ignore emails that offer products or warn them they are being tracked. Remind your kids that they should never reply to spam or even unsubscribe to newsletters. This will only makes things worst since they are simply saying that their email address is accurate. Tell your kids not to join mailing groups. This is because mailing groups can be searched publicly and can easily be traced by spammers. It makes their job easier since they only have to add one email address that can reach to multiple email addresses. If they are creating an email address for the first time from a free web- based email service, tell them not to subscribe to any additional promotions or services or to be included to the internet directory. Teach them how to use email filters. Most web-based mail programs have email filtering options that allow the user to block unwanted emails or control spam. The rules are simple: DO NOT GIVE email addresses to strangers, NEVER OPEN spam attachments, and NEVER REPLY to spam. If your kids know these, then your computer will be free from internet-based threats.