• The Internet:
    How to Keep Your Child Safe

    A computer with Internet access should always be in a public placein your house, not in your child’s room. Having Internet access in yourchild’s room is like inviting a stranger into your child’s bedroom atany time of the day or night.

    •A child, or anyone for that matter, should NEVER create a profileon the computer or an Internet site. Any bit of information is a wayfor a predator to begin a conversation.

    •Never allow your children to use public chat rooms; they can easily fall into the hands of a predator.

    •There are many “unsecured/potentially dangerous” Internet siteswhere predators look for children: Facebook.com, Teen.com, Myspace.comand many more that will be developed in the future.

    •Boys are just as vulnerable as girls are to online predators.

    •Parents should know their child’s password. Children however,should not share their passwords with anyone else, not even their bestfriend.

    •Parents should have the primary account on a computer, not thechild. This allows parents to set up controls to help keep childrensafe.

    •Use the safe parent controls from your Internet provider. Use thesafe searcher controls provided by Goggle and other search engines.

    •Install a monitoring/surveillance tool on your computer. Thisallows you to print out and see every keystroke and visited Internetsite.

    •Limit instant messaging to your children’s known friends andfamily. Have them set up a pass code to verify that they are speakingwith the intended person.

    •Make sure your children know that a friend is someone they havemet face to face. An introduction on the Internet does not count.

    •Online bullying is real. Watch your children; be aware if they are reluctant to go to school or participate in activities.

    •The most important message is to be a parent. Don’t allow yourchildren to use the Internet/computer for hours at a time; no timeshould be unsupervised. Sit with your child when he/she does homework.If he/she blanks out the screen when you are near by or uses the codessuch as POP (Parent on patrol) or POS (parent over shoulder) be awarethat something is going on.

    •Just as we warn our children about potential strangers on thestreet, we must communicate and educate our children about thepotential hazards on the Internet. Let them know that if they findsomething “wrong” by mistake, that they should tell you immediately.