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INTERNET SAFETY

Your child may be more tech savvy than you but don't let that intimidate you.

Communicate honestly about your concerns regarding their safety online. Check your Internet history log regularly and learn how the popular teen sites work (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) Go online yourself and get familiar with these sites.


At Computer photo
Internet Tip Sheet for Parents
   
  You wouldn’t leave the front door of your home wide open when your children are alone… You wouldn’t allow a stranger in your child’s room and let them carry on a personal, intimate conversation…
   
1. Keep the computer your children use in a central, visible location such as the living room or family room – within your sight, NOT in their bedroom.
2. Talk frankly with your kids about what can be unsafe ONLINE. Explain that they wouldn’t engage in personal conversations with people they don’t know in “the real world”, and the same rule applies while using the Internet.
3. Set reasonable limits for how much time children can spend online and limit the websites they are allowed to access.
4. Use your Internet Service Provider’s parent controls and take advantage of the widely accessible content filters, pop-up blockers, and monitoring resources and software available to parents.
5. Learn which websites your children frequent and which websites are popular among kids and teens. Get familiar with IM/text slang: POS – Parent over shoulder, P911 – parent alert, LOL – laughing out loud, BBL – be back later, CUOL—see you online, GFN – gone for now, A/S/L – age, sex, location, CTY – see you tomorrow, F2F – face to face, LMIRL – let’s meet in real life, WTGP – want to go private? (just to name a few!)
6. Talk to children about what personal information is and why you should never give it to people online. It’s more than just name, address, or phone number!
7. Internet accounts should be in the parent's name with parents having the primary screen name, controlling passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
8. Explain to children that people aren’t always who they say they are online. Remind them not to believe everything they read. Be sure to tell your kids they should never carry on sexual discussions online with anyone, especially people they don’t know.
9. Find out where your child has Internet access… schools, libraries, community centers, friends’ homes. Whenever possible, ask what kind of safety measurements are in place to protect children.
10. Check your Internet browser’s history regularly to be sure there are no dangerous or inappropriate sites being visited.
11. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a system for identifying AND reporting online predators and child pornographers, and contributing to law-enforcement investigations. Report anything questionable to: www.cybertipline.com.
12. To learn more about internet safety for you and your family, visit these educational sites:
www.wiredsafety.org
www.connectsafely.org
www.cybertipline.com
www.webwisekids.org
www.netsmartz.org
www.kidsbesafeonline.com
 
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