Safe Surfing for You and Your Children
Spend time "surfing" the
Net with your child.
Encourage them to explore the healthy, creative
opportunities offered by access.
Make use of parental control
features. If your service provider
doesn't already offer them, a variety of aftermarket
programs are available quite inexpensively and will
allow you to block out pornographic, obscene, or violent
content. Some of the more popular programs are
Internet Filter ,
Microsoft Plus 4 Kids ,
Make sure your computer is in a
public place in the house. An area
heavily trafficked will not provide much opportunity to
hide what your child may be doing, and will give you a
chance to step in and correct any problems.
It's a good idea to restrict both
the amount of time and the time of day
you allow your children on the Internet. Late nights
often mean not only a slower connection due to typically
heavier traffic, but also more adults and less children
using these systems. Overly long hours spent on-line
aren't healthy either, as this causes vision problems
and discourages exercise and social interaction.
Carefully watch your children's
"chat-room" discussions. While they may
find someone on-line that genuinely shares their
interests and hobbies, there have been a number of cases
where predators have targeted children through the
Internet. Severely limiting or even blocking access to
chat-rooms is probably a good idea.
Review history logs kept by your
computer. These can tell you what sites
your child has been accessing and even record your
child's chat-room conversations. This can provide
valuable warning if your child should be approached by a
Teach your children not to send
personal data such as phone numbers,
house address, school name, or photographs of themselves
over the Internet. Anytime someone asks them for this
kind of information, make sure they know to tell you.
Don't ever allow your children to
go to meet someone they befriend "on-line" alone.
Make sure you have a chance to talk to their
"cyber-buddies" first and even talk to the friend's
parents. If the person is an adult, be very wary. Make
sure you know who they are and what they do for a
living, as well as why they want to meet your child in