May 5, 2011

        I received a letter today from a student who wants to enter our BABY ANIMALS contest, and has some questions about how to do it. "Anonymous" is asking very good questions, so I thought I would share both the question and my answer here, for all kids to see.


"Dear Seymour Simon:

I am not sure how to comment. I want to blog, do you just scroll down and click ‘Comment’? It is hard for me to do a lot on websites with blogging because my parents don’t like me giving my email out.


Anonymous (I don’t know if I should give my name away on the Internet)"

First let’s talk about Internet safety for my readers, because most of you are under 13 years old. Your parents are right in warning you to be very careful about giving out your whole name or your email address on the Internet. In order to stay safe, you should use only your first name (or first name/last initial, for example, I would be "Seymour S.").

Sometimes, if you are on a website that you know and your parents trust, you may want to give your email address for a very specific reason. For example, if you want to ask me a question by using the ASK SEYMOUR SIMON button, you need to give your email address so that I can respond to you. Or, when you want to enter a contest like this one, you need to give us an email address so that we can reach you if you are the winner. It is ok if you give us your parents’ or your teacher’s email address for this purpose. And, we only use the email address for that one specific reason, and then we delete it from our records. Your parents or teachers can read more about this in our Privacy Policy. We respect your safety, and we take it very seriously.

One more thing. You should never give your full name, your telephone number or your home address to anyone whom you meet on the Internet. If anyone is asking, you should tell your family, your teacher, or another adult whom you trust. No one, neither a grownup nor another kid, should be asking you for that kind of information on the Internet.

Thanks, "Anonymous," for asking these very important questions - it gives me a chance to remind you all about what I call the Internet Rules of the Road, so that everyone can enjoy this website and be sure to stay safe.

Next blog post, I will talk about how to comment on the Seymour Science blog. It’s not hard, you don’t have to give your full name or your email address, and we love to hear from you!

- Seymour

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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