Internet safety for kids

Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace can help kids keep in touch with friends, but online predators may be lurking. It is so important to teach your kids Internet safety in general as it can help protect your children while allowing them to use the Internet as a tool for learning.

Basic Internet Safety Tips

  • Keep the computer in the family room. Instead of letting your child have a computer in her own room, keep a family computer in an open, family area.

  • Password protect. Put a password on the computer itself so that your child can't use it without your permission.

  • Try and know your child's passwords. Consider requiring that your child shares his or her password with you when setting up e-mail accounts, Facebook, etc. Make sure that your child uses the privacy settings on sites like Facebook and MySpace so that only people they know and trust can view the account.

  • Download with care – Download images, applications, and screen savers from trusted sources only. Make certain that your child knows the website they are visiting and it is one you can trust.

  • Set parental controls on the computer. Various types of software are available to prevent kids from visiting inappropriate Web sites on the Internet

  • Protect your personal data by not giving out your name, address, phone number, etc. – This information should only be given to people that you trust—it’s always a good idea for kids to check with their parents before providing this information.

  • Monitor your child's activity on the Internet. This includes any charges a child may make to a credit card, any downloads, and Web sites the child has visited. The “history” tab allows you to see where your child has been surfing and what they have been doing.

  • Kids with their own email accounts. Tell them not to immediately open e-mail attachments. If they receive an e-mail attachment that they were not expecting, tell them not to open it as there may be a virus contained within it.

  • Avoid forwarding chain letters, jokes, and other types of SPAM – These letters often contain false information that misleads people. By your kids forwarding emails to their friends, they may be creating a list of emails for spammer to use.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
— Winston Churchill...

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill