Well Family, it’s that time of year again! Summertime! As we seek out summer time activities that will keep our kids busy and engaged, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone on the importance of keeping our children safe while in cyberspace. Whether your child is emailing, blogging, chatting, and profiling in all the social networks, it’s important to remember that kids are the most vulnerable when it comes to predators of all types on the internet. Be vigilant and active! Following are some tips for internet safety as stated by an outstanding non-profit organization called Web Wise Kids, whose mission is to create innovative programs, and activities aimed to educate parents, teachers and kids on the importance of internet safety.
Web Wise Kids’ Tips for Internet Safety.
- Monitor your child’s Internet use consistently.
- If your child belongs to a social networking site, look closely at what information they have posted in their member profiles, blogs, photos and videos.
- Find out what other websites your child’s social networking site is linked to. Some sites link to another site that could endanger them.
- Talk to your child about Internet safety concerns in a positive way and give them the opportunity to make safety resolutions that you can both live with.
- Explain that your kids’ should NEVER give out personal information, NEVER meet anyone online without your permission, NEVER open emails from unknown senders and NEVER share their photos with strangers, over the internet.
- Encourage your child to bring anything strange or upsetting to your attention and don’t overact if they do. They may fear losing their internet privileges.
- Stay in touch with your kids’ online activities. Know who their online friends are, just as you would their friends in the “real world.”
- Learn how filtering and monitoring software can assist you in protecting your children. Education and parental involvement are the primary methods of prevention.
- Internet accounts should always be in the parents’ name. The parent should maintain the primary email account and be in charge of all passwords and parental controls.
- Notify the police if someone your child met online starts calling them , sending gifts, or trying to lure them from home.
- Check your credit card statements each month for unusual charges that may indicate that a stranger or your child is making unauthorized purchases.
- Don’t think of the Internet as a babysitter. Actively supervise your child while online. Keep the computer in a public area of the house.
Here are some additional resources you can use to educate yourself and everyone in your household about Internet safety.
A good rule of thumb is “if you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it online!”
Next week, “In The Wake of the Trayvon Tragedy let’s tackle: Community Violence, Chronic Health and Student Achievement”