Internet Safety for Kids
The Internet can be
a fun and exciting place filled with learning tools and resources for your child
to explore. Children who have access to online services, whether inside or
outside the home, enjoy learning about a wide variety of topics, communicating
with friends and family by e mail, chatting with other computer users, and surfing
However, although the Internet offers many
positive things, there are times when surfing the Net can also be dangerous.
Unless you take adequate precautions, your child might encounter material you
Just as you would not send your children
near a busy road without some safety rules, you should not send them to the information
superhighway without rules of the road.
WHAT TO DO FIRST
Set up a master account in your name and do
not give your child the password Many services allow you to create separate
screen names for children, allowing you to block access to inappropriate
Place the computer in a room where the whole
family usually gathers together, such as the family or living room. This
will make it easier for you to keep an eye on your child's internet
activities. Make it clear that if you cannot see what they are doing online,
then they cannot do it.
Discuss with your child ways to handle
certain situations ahead of time. For example, discuss what to do if someone
sends them a message over the Internet that scares or threatens them or
makes them feel uncomfortable.
Consider using blacking software. Many of
these products will allow you to control your children's access to certain
areas on the Internet.
USING THE INTERNET
Establish a clear set of rules and guidelines
for computer use by your children and post them near the computer.
Make Internet surfing a family activity and
get involved in your children's Internet activities.
Help your child find healthy, positive web
sites and bookmark them on your computer.
Speak openly with your children and encourage
them to come to you if they encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable
in any way. Encourage them to trust their instincts regarding bothersome material.
If your child encounters threatening or obscene
material on the Internet, report it to the sender's Internet service
TEACH YOUR KIDS THESE RULES OF THE ROAD
Be careful and responsible.
Never give out his or her name, address,
phone number, or school name to anyone on line.
Never send a picture of themselves or another
family member to anyone online without explicit parental permission.
Never respond to a messages that are obscene,
threatening, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way.
Tell a parent or other trusted adult if they
encounter anything on the Internet that makes then uncomfortable.
Never enter an area that charges for service
without receiving parental permission.
Remember that people online may not be
whom they seem to be.
Follow these rules even when at school or at
a friend's house. Children have access to the internet in many places,
but they should know that the same rules apply no matter where they are.
Information provided by the National Crime Prevention Council
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