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Online Safety Tips

15 TIPS to Keep Your Kids Safe On the Web

1. Tell your children not to respond if they receive offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat requests, or other communications, and to leave if they go to a web site that makes them uncomfortable. Predator use a process called “Grooming” to work their way into a state of trust with children. If your child just exits upon first contact the likelihood of pursuit is greatly diminished.

2. Establish clear ground rules for Internet use for your family. Think about signing a Contract with your children that reflects those rules. If you set the ground rules for safe internet and computer use your children will know the warning signs when a predator approaches them.

3. Instruct your child never to plan a face-to-face meeting with online acquaintances, and to notify you if they are approached for an offline meeting. Make sure you children know several examples of what has happened to kids who have fallen for this trick. Also, educate them about all the sting operations and have them read new articles about the subject.

4. Teach kids never to give their personal information to people they meet online, especially in chat rooms and on bulletin boards. Much like you would teach them never to give out their user name and password teach them that all information is private and they should never share ANY information without first getting Mom and Dads approval.

5. Use the Internet with your kids. While you're spending time with them, you can help them to be safe and responsible online. The key here is open and honest communication. Make sure they are comfortable sharing what they do and see online with you. If they have “private” stuff they want to do on line let them know you are “checking” up on them but not spying, just to be safe.

6. Talk with your children about their online activities and the risks and ethical responsibilities of surfing the Web. Tell them you have a responsibility to monitor their Internet use and that you will.

7. Keep the computer in a common room in your home and set time limits for its use. This tip can’t be overemphasized. You children need to understand that for their safety you need to have “total access” to their online activity and that they can “earn” your trust.

8. Set rules as to what sites your children are allowed to visit and which ones they are not. Again let them know that there are very specific types of sites that are totally off limits. Make sure you children are very clear this is an area that has have no gray area.

9. Tell your children to let you know immediately if a stranger tries to make contact with them on the Web. Just are you expect your child to earn your trust you need to earn their trust so they will let you know if a predator reaches out to them. Make sure you let them know it is not their fault in any way that a predator has tried to contact them. They must feel they can talk to you.

10. Insist your children give you their e-mail and chat room passwords. Prohibit them from having multiple e-mail accounts. Let them know you need this just to make sure they are safe and you don’t want it to “SPY” on them.

11. Make sure your children know what online activities are against the law. Illegal activities include making threats against someone else online, hacking, downloading pirated software, creating bootlegged software, sharing music files online and (for children under 18) making purchases over the Internet.

12. Go online with your kids and find out who they send Instant Messages to and/or chat with. Do not allow your children to send Instant Messages during homework-related computer time.

13. Regularly scan the files on your family computer to see what kind of material your children have downloaded and whether it was obtained legally.

14. Insist your children give you their e-mail and chat room passwords. Prohibit them from having multiple e-mail accounts.

15.Install WebWatcher to protect your family from every threat that my come your children’s way while they enjoy the Internet. No software can level the playing field again online predators like WebWatcher. Block any offensive website, log every keystroke, take a snapshot of every Instant Message and record any email all from any computer with Internet access.

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