The Internet has become increasingly important in our daily lives. This includes the lives of our children. It is a place for our children to learn, work and play. Keeping children safe on the Internet is everyone’s job.
Children know more about the Internet than most adults. It is important for adults and parents to take the time to learn about the Internet. Use the computer as a place where you build a bond with your child by having them teach you how to “surf the web.” Then, you will be in an educated position to protect and safeguard your child from the dangers they may face. Talk to them about what sites they go on. Ask if they have been on any sites that made them feel uncomfortable and if they have ever given out their personal information. By spending time with them on the computer, you can teach your child to make good choices and avoid online pornography and encounters with predators, hackers and others who would exploit children and coax them into giving out their personal information.
We ask that you spend time on this site and click on all the valuable links that we offer so you can learn the dangers that your child may encounter while on the computer. One thing we know for sure, the predators that are online, have spent their time learning the Internet. Do you know what LMIRL means? It is an Internet chat acronym that means: Let’s Meet In Real Life. There are many more things you need to know.
Tips for Parents:
- Read the Internet Safety Guide.
- Learn everything you can about the Internet. Talk to your child about what sites they have visited. Visit those sites.
- For a quick safety lesson, visit www.netsmartz.org.
- Establish boundaries for the computer: limit their time on the computer, let them know what sites they can and cannot visit; and determine with whom they may communicate.
- Put your computer in an area of the home which you can easily monitor their activity, such as a living room or family room.
- When they inform you that they have visited a site that made them feel uncomfortable or they have received an e-mail that scared them, do not overreact. The best strategy is to work with them and determine how it happened and learn together on how to have it not happen again.
- Learn how to use parental controls on your computer to prevent your child from going to unwanted sites. Simply type in “site blocking” or “filtering” into any search engine and learn how to install these settings.
- Look at the browser’s history files.
- Know where your child is using the Internet, a friend’s house, library, etc.
Make sure your child knows:
- NEVER give out personal information. Make sure your child knows what “personal information” means (name, address, age, gender, parent’s name, etc.)
- Have them choose a screen name that does not identify them as male or female or reference their age.
- NEVER agree to meet anyone they have met on the Internet. Not everyone is who they say they are.
- NEVER give their password to anyone other than a parent or guardian.
- Have them tell a parent/guardian, teacher, or other trusted adult if they see anything online or receive any e-mail that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, threatened, or suggests they meet (LMIRL).
As an adult:
- If your child starts talking about someone they are communicating with online, ask questions! Online predators can assume any identity. Learn all you can. Or, Rule #1, don’t have them communication with anyone online that they (and you) don’t know in real life.
- Web cams are starting to become a real issue. If you have a web cam in your home, find out who is using it, and for what purpose. Child predators target children that have access to web cams.
To learn more visit these sites:
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
National Center for Missing or Exploited Children
Become familiar with Internet chat acronyms:
CUL8R or CULR
LYLAS or LYLAB
Age, sex, location
As far as I know
Away from keyboard
Be right back
See you later
I don’t care
Kiss on the cheek
Laugh out loud
Love you lots
Love you like a sister (or brother)
Miss you so much
Oh my God
Parent over shoulder
Too much information
Teachers are watching
Want to go private