Keeping Kids Safe Online
Parents' biggest concern about the Internet used to be pornography, but there is definitely a greater fear today.
You have probably taught your child not to talk to strangers, and in many situations, they would remember this. But the Internet is different.
Due to the Internet's anonymity, strangers are talking to children all the time. They try to gain the child's trust by having friendly conversation at first, but over time, their true objective of sexually soliciting the child becomes evident.
Children and parents alike are unaware of this, yet this is exactly what is still going on via the Internet.
What can today's parent do? Armed with the right information, there's actually quite a bit a parent can do.
- Tell your child to NEVER EVER reveal their name, address, phone
number or any other personal information to ANYONE online.
Once you give out this information, it is impossible to retract.
- Communicate regularly (not just once) with your child about
WHAT they do online and WHOM they talk to online.
If you have actually met the friends they are talking to in person, you'll know it is OK for them to chat with them online.
- Take computers out of kids' rooms and put them into public areas
such as the family room.
Many parents think they are helping with homework by giving the kids a computer, but it also opens certain dangers that you may be unaware of.
- Choose your child's screen name, email address or instant message
name wisely - don't' reveal ages, sex, hobbies, and CERTAINLY
NOT suggestive or sexy names.
Predators are more likely to pursue a child with the screen name "sexyteen5" than "happygirl5"
- Use technology to help you protect your child.
Monitoring software gives you the ability to review your child's Internet usage. Although some parenting experts have concern over violating children's trust, others feel that this is very important.
Even if you don't look at each and every email or instant message they send, you'll have a good idea if they are making smart choices online.
As President of www.Software4Parents.com, Joshua has been see on/in The Montel Williams Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and other national media. Joshua works and lives in Bucks County, PA. ©2002 Joshua Finer Software4Parents.com All rights reserved. Used with permission