INTERNET TIPS FOR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
Allowing kids to go online without supervision or ground rules is like allowing them to explore a major city by themselves. The Internet, like a city, offers an enormous array of entertainment and educational resources, but also presents some risks. Kids need help navigating this world.
As parents, we want our children to be safe and responsible while using technology. We will have succeeded when each child can recognize and minimize the three main risks associated with all forms of technology that connect to the Internet (i.e., computers, iPods, cell phones, game consoles). The three main risks are:
-Inappropriate Contact- Teach kids how to recognize and protect themselves against contact with cyber-bullies, hackers, phishers, and predators. People aren’t always who they say they are. Teach kids to stay away from Internet strangers: the Internet is a place to enhance existing relationships, not a place to meet new people.
-Inappropriate Content- This includes both content that is viewed and content that is uploaded by kids. Help kids understand that the Internet is forever and after they post it, they can’t take it back. Everything they post online is tracked and stored and will follow them to future job interviews and college entrance interviews.
-Inappropriate Conduct- Because a web environment can feel anonymous, some youth become uninhibited. Teach kids that the Internet is a public forum: anonymity is a myth. Help them be the good person online that they are offline.
The information listed above is from an organization called the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. When it comes to Internet safety and keeping your children safe online I have found to much information to condense into a brief article. What I have listed below are several excellent Internet sites for you to review. The information on those sites should answer any questions you may have. The sites cover Internet issues for elementary school aged children through adults.
National Cyber Security Alliance www.staysafeonline.org
Connect Safely www.connectsafely.org
Get Net Wise www.getnetwise.org
Internet Keep Safe Coalition www.ikeepsafe.org
Federal Trade Commission www.onguardonline.gov
Wired Safety www.wiredsafety.org
Crime Prevention Officer
Sharon Police Department