How to Be a Safe and Smart Kid on wikiHow

Get your parents’ permission to use wikiHow since wikiHow is not intended for children. Ask your parents to review the site and read our Terms of Use. Your parents need to give you permission to edit or read here.
If you are under 13 years of age, you may not use wikiHow unless we receive explicit written permission from your parents. Have your parent email us at to start the permission process. If your parents have not given us this permission, please do not register an account or edit on wikiHow.
Do not use your full name. If you created a username using your full name, contact an administrator for instructions as to how to change this so that you can be safer.
Make sure that you are fully clothed in any photo you may post. Better yet, if you post your photo, use one in which you are fully clothed and not particularly recognizable. A shot of you looking away into the sunset might be good, or one in which you are shown only in silhouette. Another option is to use a photo related to a hobby you like. You might show a kitten or a skateboard.

Do not name your school. Once someone knows which school you attend, they can find out all kinds of information through an easy internet search. Some of this information could be used to trick you into believing a stranger is a close family friend.

Do not share your address or phone number. Keep your birthday private as well.

Be mysterious about your age and your grade. You have no obligation to share your personal information when using wikiHow. You may give your age as “old enough” or “one year older than I was last year”. Be creative.

Do not engage in private “off site” communication. Private communications can be the first step to big trouble for a kid.

Don’t participate in IRC chat. If you do go the main, public IRC chat room, don’t accept invitations for private chat rooms.

Don’t enable email address contact. If someone wants to talk to you, let that be public and on your talk page. This way others will be able to observe your conversation.

Be wary of other users. Things are not always as they seem. You may believe that someone is a kid just like you, but sometimes adults will pose as children. When this occurs, you can be sure that this adult is up to no good.

Stay away from trolls!
Avoid trolls. Trolls are people who are just here to say things to rile people up. If you are insulted by trolls (or anyone else on wikiHow), you do not have to respond to them. In most cases, it’s best to ignore insults altogether, since most trolls thrive on your responses. Contact a wikiHow administrator if someone continues to harass you.
Do not answer personal questions which might help identify you. Other users may want to talk and be friendly. But if you answer politely, you might give too much information. Be strong and protect yourself. Just nicely tell them that you don’t answer personal questions online because you are way too smart for that.
Keep it general. When you do answer a question, speak about your country, not your city. Speak about your state, not your town. If you will be going to the Adirondacks, just say you will be hiking in the mountains. Going to the beach? Don’t specify Ocean City. If you are not sure which conversational topics are safe, ask an adult at home or any administrator or Help Team Member. It might be perfectly okay to talk about your tropical fish hobby. But it might be unwise to say that you are going to the Mets game on Friday afternoon, or that you will be participating in the Cazenovia Fourth of July parade.
Show your userpage to a trusted adult. A parent, guardian, or even a teacher will likely have your best interests at heart, and you should consider making their recommended changes to your userpage.

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