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Internet Safety for Kids

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Do you know where your children are? If your answer is "on the computer" it's time to get involved. "Shoulder to Shoulder computing" is when you a parent pulls up a chair and guides his/her child through the Internet. Learn with your children. This is the safest way to insure the Internet weirdoes are not preying on your children.   XAAA5773.gif (5233 bytes)
Internet safety for kids is serious business. We must always be diligent in the protection of our children. But instead of being afraid of the "big-bad Internet" and keeping our kids away from it, let's try to apply a few safety rules and see how easy it can be.
                        



If you want to know what your kids are doing online put the computer in a central location. For example if you want to know what your kids are watching on TV, then don't put the TV in the bedroom - put it in the living room. If you want to know who their friends are and what they're talking about then don't put the phone in the bedroom - put it in the kitchen.
                         
Kids 2 – 17 should not be online without adult supervision in some manner when they're online.
                          

 

Make sure you have family rules for being online. Things like: there must be an adult home before you can go online, homework gets done before the computer goes on, for every 20 minutes that you're online you need to show me something neat you learned, time limits on Internet use, etc.
                            



Teach your child not to "talk" to strangers, an adult must be involved in kids electronic relationships. While most kids know something is wrong when an adult tries to strike up conversation with them at the park, another "10" year old is not a "stranger" in the same way. Another child can be a potential friend the problem is creeps pose as another child to neutralize our "Stranger danger rules, it usually works.
                                                
Kids should be taught from a very early age that they should never give out personal information.
XAAA5768.gif (1000 bytes) Children should use first names only.
XAAA5768.gif (1000 bytes) Never give out addresses & phone numbers.
XAAA5768.gif (1000 bytes) Never agree to meet with strangers.
XAAA5768.gif (1000 bytes) Teach your child to notify you immediately if someone is asking for that kind of information.
                                         
For Older Children:
While online, children should be who they are - not a handle or cyber nickname.

When we allow our kids to pretend to be someone else and to function in relationships as someone else, we allow them the opportunity to adopt another set of morals and behavior guidelines. This can be dangerous when combined with the perceived safety of online communication, especially for teenagers looking for acceptance. While impostor play DEFINITELY has its place in play and fantasy - it should be removed from online activity unless is it attached to purposeful learning or is strictly supervised.

 

There is a time for bonding (and peeking over your children’s shoulder) and a time for letting go. Handling children’s e-mail brings this delicate balance into focus. Listed are a few solutions: ask your children to tell you when they have received any e-mail from someone other than a family member or friend. Screen your Children’s e-mail. Create a mailbox for your children & move the mail you feel is appropriate for them to that mailbox.
                                                
Setup a Children’s Favorites folder and put appropriate sites in it
                                                 


If your children should happen upon something inappropriate, (which I promise you will happen), teach them to immediately click on your browser's "Home" button. They should then tell you that they found something inappropriate.
                                             
Click here for some great web sites for children & parents:

SMART.gif (11737 bytes)                 Coloring Book
From Cybermoms

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www.cyberangels.org

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www.shadowtrackers.com/safety.html

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Last modified: November 17, 2009