Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internet Safety

Internet usage is an important skill for children to learn and become comfortable with. However, there are risks.

Risks Online

Exposure to inappropriate material (content of a sexual nature, violence, hate or racist websites, etc.)

Sexual solicitation

Harassment and bullying

Theft of personal information (see Identity Theft under the “Table of Topics”)


More than 30 million children in the United States use the Internet

1 in 4 had unwanted exposure to sexually explicit pictures

About 1 in 5 received a sexual solicitation or approach

1 in 17 was threatened or harassed

Children are ideal victims for predators

Natural curiosity

Easily manipulated

Have a need for attention and affection

Some have a need to rebel against authority (parents)

Online there is a sense of anonymity for the child and the predator

  • Below is 12-year-old "Becky90210" having an online chat with your child.

Online Safety Tips

1. Establish rules for Internet usage
-What sites can they visit?
-Who can they talk to?
-How long can they be online?

2. Keep the computer in a common room.

3. Discuss the importance of telling you or a trusted adult if something happens online that makes your child uncomfortable.

4. Communicate openly with your kids.

5. Utilize safeguarding options such as blocking, filtering, and rating applications.

If you or your child becomes the victim of a predator under any circumstances, report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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