|A Letter to Parents|
Dear Parents, |
Welcome to the EnchantedForest. We are honored to have you and your kids building homepages in our Neighborhood.
If you shook the trees in the EnchantedForest, you'd have a whole team of EnchantedForest Community Leaders ready and willing to help. Community Leaders volunteering in the program are here to assist the homesteaders, answer emails and try to keep the Forest safe. We are not employees of Yahoo!GeoCities, but we are affiliated with them. The leaders have gone through an extensive training program hosted by Yahoo!GeoCities. We would like to let you know that when emailing the leaders, you are not directly emailing Geocities. Also please familiarize yourself with the GeoCities Privacy Statement. No child in the EnchantedForest has to give out their email address. The Community Leaders have a secure way of emailing the homesteader without even knowing the email address, until you the homesteader respond back to us, for help or answers. The Community Leaders also WILL NOT ask for your child's password. They should never give that out to anyone. The program is set up so that if there is anything that a Community Leader cannot handle, a Community Manager, (GeoCities employee) will be notified and will assist us.
I would like to take a moment of your time to explain that the internet is a fast and furious place. It can be fun, but it isn't always safe, and it is so very important that you try and take what actions necessary to protect your children. Monitoring your child's activities and emailings on the net is the key to knowing where they are going on the internet and who they are talking too. Kids can get free email addresses from many different sources, and this is where they can also sometimes get into trouble.
Chatrooms are another area that kids love to explore, and this to should be monitored also. These areas can be friendly and helpful, but can also be filled with inappropriate language and strangers that look for someone innocent. Yahoo!GeoCities has set up a volunteer program to monitor it's own Chatrooms. But again, nothing is full proof. And because the EnchantedForest is special, we do NOT host any chats. We feel this is the best way we can safeguard your child.
As leaders, monitoring the EnchantedForest, we have noticed that many kids love too tell about themselves, where they live, the schools they go to, the sports and places they play, and even at times list their phone number. Telling about yourself is wonderful. Each kid is unique and special, but placing information on the net about your whereabouts can prove to be a problem for you, and for them should someone want to use that information. It's alway best to use a nickname or alias, warn the kids not to give out their name, especially their last name. Also, if you provide the child with an email address that you monitor, it is better to use that than your true email address. Many can find out more about you through your primary email address than one from yahoo.com, hotmail.com, usa.net, or iname.com to name a few. The idea here is to be safe and be smart.
We enjoy hearing from the kids, and helping them build their homepages, but we also like to know and hear from you. If you would prefer to email us and not your child, we welcome this.
Please, take a few minutes to look over your child's site. Make sure that they are safe, that not to much personal information is going out about them and that you approve. For more information about "A Parents Guide to Internet Safety, please visit the FBI's tip page and the FBI's Safety Tips for Kids on the Internet. Also please read A Very Special Letter, which will help to understand that safety on the net is so important.
Should you happen to come across an inappropriate site in the EnchantedForest, you have two options, you can email the EnchantedForest Liaison (also a volunteer) or alert the site through the GeoCities Alert form. Should you get abusive email from a GeoCities homesteader, you should forward the entire email to firstname.lastname@example.org.