When Todd got a school assignment to write a report on computers, his mother Rebecca showed him how to find information on the Internet by using a search engine. Todd found many Web sites about computers, and soon he had finished his report. Rebecca didn't have time to look it over before he handed it in, but she figured that he had found good sources for his work online.
A week later, though, Todd got his paper back from his teacher with a big red "F" scrawled across the front. When he brought the report home, Rebecca read through it and was shocked at what she found. Rebecca was no expert on computers, but she knew that much of the information in the report was completely false, and much of it was based on articles that had been out of date since the '90s.
Rebecca sat down at the computer with Todd and showed him how to tell good sites from bad ones on the Internet. She taught him to look for the author of a site and to check when the site was last updated to make sure the content is reliable. She also taught him to cite all the Web sites he uses and not plagiarize information. "Now I only use information from good sources like museum Web sites and online encyclopedias," says Todd, and my grades have gotten much better."
To learn how to protect your child from misleading information online, see the encyclopedia entry on Misinformation