The Internet is a fun and valuable resource for information. It allows the user to research topics, explore far off places, and chat with people across the world and many other activities. Although there are many good features, the Internet can be a very dangerous place for children. An estimated 45 million children will be using the Internet this year. Of that 45 million, 1 out of 5 will receive an online sexual solicitation from a stranger. Seventy percent of those solicitations will be from your home. It is important that parents educate themselves on the Internet and it’s dangers.
Signs That Your Child May Be At Risk On-Line
Spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night.
You find pornography or other “banned” material on your computer.
Your child receives telephone calls from someone you don’t know.
Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from a stranger.
Your child turns off computer or changes the screen when you come in the room.
Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.
Safety Tips For Parents
Parents need to educate themselves in the use of the computer and Internet.
Openly talk with your children about the Internet.
Keep the computer in a common room so it can be easily observed.
Get to know the services your child is using.
Keep track of their on- line time.
Teach your child to never give out identifying information such as: home address, school names, grade, age, or telephone number.
Never allow the child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone.
Never respond to messages or bulletins if they are from an unknown source.
Remember that everything you read online is not always true.
If your child receives inappropriate messages report them to law enforcement. If possible save and print out the information.
Useful Sites to Use To Keep Kids Safe On The Internet
(FBI Parents guide to Internet safety)
http://www.getnetwise.org/ (Site provides resources for online safety and Internet safety products)
http://safesurfin.org/ (Site provides Internet safe tips for parents and children)
Filtering & Blocking Software
Children of all ages are using computers on a daily basis. When used correctly they can enhance your child’s knowledge of the world around them. With just a little involvement by us, children can be safe.