- Become more computer literate, get to know the services your child uses. Find out what types of information it offers and whether they are built-in ways to block out objectionable material.
- Consider using a pseudonym or unlisting your child’s name if your service allows it. Steer away from online profiles. Pedophiles oftenuse profiles as a means to find victims.
- Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first meeting in a public place and accompany your child to the meeting.
- Do not allow your child to respond to messages or bulletin boarditems that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or threatening. Forward a copy of such messages to your Internet service provider.
- Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if you are aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography online.
- Never give out any personal information such as your address, telephonenumber, work number, or your child’s school name.
- Keep the computer in your family room where you can watch and monitor your child’s activities.
- Share an E-mail account with your child so that you can oversee his or her mail.
- Spend as much time as possible online together to show your children proper behavior and rules.
Adapted from Child Safety on the Information Highway by Lawrence J. Magid. This information is reprinted from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Copyright (c) 1994 NCMEC. All rights reserved.
- Do not allow your children to go into private chat rooms without you being present.
- Monitor your credit card bill. Many pornographic Internet sites require credit card payments in order to gain access.
- Consider using an online service that has special child accounts with restricted access to chat rooms and the Internet.
- Always keep in mind that as you move through the Internet, you leave information about yourself. When a user posts to USENET.IRC chat rooms or listservers, the user reveals their mailing address so others can contact them. Some web sites also collect information called “cookies.” “Cookies” are compiled lists of information that may include your name, address, telephone number, and possibly even your credit card number. Ask your Internet service provider how to turn off your “cookies.”
Adapted from Tips For Parents To Protect Children by Enough Is Enough. All rights reserved.
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