The internet is a wonderful information database that when used properly can be very helpful. Unfortunately some people have used the internet to exploit children. This section is designed to help you monitor your children's internet interactions.
When using the internet your child is exposed to the following risks:
- Exposure to inappropriate material (pornography, hateful, illegal, or violent material)
- Harassment (harassing emails, blogs, or chat rooms)
- Financial Risk (giving out credit card numbers or personal information)
- Physical Harm (arrange an encounter with a stranger met on the internet - ex: Dateline NBC "How to catch a predator" specials)
Common signs your child might be at risk:
- Child spends a lot of time on-line, especially at night and they try to keep it a secret from you.
- Inappropriate websites on computer's internet history.
- Child is receiving mail, gifts, and phone calls from strangers.
- Child quickly shuts off the monitor or closes web pages when a parent enters the room.
What can parents do?
- Teach your children to never give out personal information (home address, phone numbers, school names, etc.)
- Set rules for children while they are using the internet (limit time they can use the internet per day, only approved websites, etc.)
- Monitor your internet history on a regular basis. Check for inappropriate websites and check chat room conversations. If your child has a Myspace for Facebook page, monitor the page.
- Never allow a child to arrange a meeting with a stranger from the internet without proper parental supervision.
- Teach children that not everything on the internet is true.
- Install internet monitoring software to track your child's activities.