Monday, October 5, 2009

Sue Scheff: Internet Things Your Child Should Never Know

October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month.
It is a perfect time to review some great tips for parents, teens, kids, small business owners and everyone. The Internet today is our new information highway.

It is important that we are educated on the power of the Internet as well as the pitfalls of it. The World Wide Web has been considered an educational tool, however like with many things in life; there can be a dark side.

Take the time to become aware of tips to keep you and your family safe in cyberspace.

I will be bringing tips through this month from different sources; all are targeted to helping you be more secure while online.

Here is some advice from Nurse Practitioner Schools:

Internet Things Your Child Should Never Know

Strangers online are okay. Remind them that a stranger on the internet should be treated like a stranger in real life. If ignoring them doesn’t work, they should tell a parent. Check out NetSmartz for more.

Posting a picture is okay in certain situations. Even an innocent looking picture, once it is out there, can be changed to do all sorts of damage. Encourage your child to post a picture of themselves as a favorite cartoon character as a safe and fun option.

It’s okay to chat with other children online. Because anyone can pose as anyone else on the internet, chatting and other activities still fall under the no stranger rules. If you’re child does chat, make sure you know who they are chatting to both online and in person.

What type of monitoring software you use. If they can Google it, chances are a savvy child will be able to find out how to disable it. Keep software boxes and receipts out of sight so the child cannot find out that way, either.

If they are being monitored. Children who know they are being monitored may wait until they have access to another computer to do the stuff they know they shouldn’t be doing. If you catch your child doing something you don’t approve of, talk with them instead of blowing up at them.

Your passwords. Because adults often use the same passwords for different sites, telling your child even one password can open the door to them accessing every online account you have. If you have a family account on a site such as Flickr, have the whole family come up with a password together.

More advice and tips will be coming soon. Don’t miss this month of Cyber Safety Awareness. Keep in mind, an educated parent is a prepared parent which leads to safer children.

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