Thursday, May 28, 2009


The Internet can be a wonderful resource for kids. They can use it to research school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, and play interactive games. But that access can also pose hazards.  That's why it's important to be aware of what your kids see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online.
keep a close eye on their activities.
Online Protection Tools:-Many Internet service providers (ISPs) provide parent-control options to block certain material from coming into a computer. You can also get software that helps block access to certain sites based on a "bad site" list that your ISP creates. Filtering programs can block sites from coming in and restrict personal information from being sent online. 
Getting Involved in Kids' Online Activities
Aside from these tools, it's wise to take an active role in protecting your kids
Become computer literate and learn how to block objectionable material.
Keep the computer in a common area, not in individual bedrooms, where you can watch and monitor its use.
Share an email account with your child so you can monitor messages.
Bookmark kids' favorite sites for easy access.
Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.
Forbid your child from entering private chat rooms; block them with safety features provided by your Internet service provider.
Monitor your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.
Many sites use "cookies," devices that track specific information about the user, such as name, email address, and shopping preferences. Cookies can be disabled. Ask your Internet service provider for more information.
Basic Rules:- Set up some simple rules for your kids to follow while they're using the Internet, such as:
Follow the rules you set, as well as those set by your Internet service provider.
Never trade personal photographs in the mail or scanned photographs over the Internet.
Never reveal personal information, such as address, phone number, or school name or location. 
Never respond to a threatening email or message.
Always tell a parent about any communication or conversation that was scary.
If your child has a new "friend," insist on being "introduced" online to that friend.
Chat Room Caution:- Chat rooms are virtual online rooms where chat sessions take place. Because people can communicate with each other alone or in a group, chat rooms are among the most popular destinations on the Web — especially for kids and teens.
But chat rooms can pose hazards for kids. Some kids have met "friends" in chat rooms who were interested in exploiting them. These predators sometimes prod their online acquaintances to exchange personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers, thus putting the kids they are chatting with — and their families — at risk.
Warning Signs
Warning signs of a child being targeted by an online predator include spending long hours online, especially at night, phone calls from people you don't know, or unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail. If your child suddenly turns off the computer when you walk into the room, ask why and monitor computer time more closely. Withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities are other signs to watch for.
Taking an active role in your kids' Internet activities will help ensure that they benefit from the wealth of valuable information it offers without being exposed to any potential dangers.



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