Internet Safety

The two types of information technology most frequently used by Montgomery County Public
Schools (MCPS) students and staff are the Internet and e-mail. Here are some tips and
techniques for a safe, educational, and exciting online experience.
The Internet is a global network of information networks accessible with a computer.
Entertainment, education, and information are all at your fingertips. You can visit the world’s
great libraries, take a class, play a game, check weather forecasts, and monitor sports scores.
Virtually anything you want to know can be found somewhere on the Internet. It’s one of the
most powerful technologies in the world. However, no specific person or entity—neither the
government nor a trade association—regulates it.

There are a number of ways for MCPS students, staff, and parents to lessen or eliminate some of
the risks associated with using the Internet:

• Students should always be supervised when using the Internet.
• Teachers should preview Web sites that support the lesson’s instructional objectives.

Students should know these basic do’s and don’ts when using the Internet: 

• Never give out information that may identify you, such as name, address, school name,
parent names, pets, etc.
• Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, or threatening; notify a parent or
teacher if this happens.
• Tell a parent or teacher if someone on the Internet asks to meet you face to face or sends
you inappropriate information.
• Contact the MCPS technology security officer at 301-517-8111 for information on
password protection, computer viruses, and privacy issues.

E-mail Security 

E-mail is technology at its best—one-on-one communication. It can be quicker than reaching
someone on the telephone or sending a letter. In MCPS, each staff member is provided access to
produce and exchange communications that support instruction and learning through an e-mail
system—Microsoft Outlook.

Here are some security steps MCPS users can take to help safeguard the e-mail system: 

• Use e-mail for educational purposes only.
• Always keep your password private. This will prevent unwanted intruders from accessing
MCPS data.
• Never send confidential information in an electronic message. E-mails are not
confidential and are sometimes forwarded or distributed without the originator’s
permission. Also, they are sometimes used in legal proceedings and investigations.
• Be careful when opening e-mail and an attachment from someone you do not know. The
attachment may contain a computer virus.
• Never post an e-mail that is illegal, obscene, or that violates the safety and privacy of
others. Speak with your immediate supervisor if you have any concerns about
appropriate use, content of a message, or if you think MCPS Regulation IGT-RA, User
Responsibilities for Computer Network and Network Security
, has been violated.
• Remember to log off e-mail at the end of each e-mail session.

Sites on Safety 

Children and adults can check several Web sites for more information on Internet safety,
including the following:

Related Resources—A national consulting firm specializing in school security and
crisis preparedness training, security assessments, and related safety consulting for K–12
schools, law enforcement, and other youth safety providers (an independent, non-productaffiliated
organization).—Site for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of
educational Technology (OET). OET develops national educational technology policy, working
closely with the Offices of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Educational Research
and Improvement (OERI), Postsecondary Education (OPE), Vocational and Adult Education
(OVAE), and Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).—This Web site is designed to give you the information needed
to secure your home or small business computer and provides tips on how to safeguard systems,
a self-guided cyber security test, educational materials, and other Internet resources.—MCPS Regulation IGT-RA, User
Responsibilities for Computer Networks and Network Security
, applies to all uses of our
technology resources.