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- Many parents have a false sense of security regarding Internet use.
- Chat rooms can be particularly dangerous for children.
- Internet safety resources help parents protect children from becoming victims of crime.
- Predators and criminals have used the Internet to find their victims.
- Predators constantly visit chat rooms and assume a new name and age to hide their identity.
- Internet safety programs often rely on education and empowerment to make technology a safer place for everyone.
- No filtering program will protect your child from all the dangers on the Internet.
- Responding to email ads confirms that you have a working account, which often results in more junk email.
- There are software programs that prohibit certain materials from being accessed from your computer.
- Internet safety stresses the following theme: Keep your personal information private.
- Internet safety analysts want parents to be aware, not scared.
- Internet safety month is celebrated each June.
Effects on Youth
- An alarming number of girls have reported that they’ve been sexually harassed in chat rooms.
- Unprepared children are extremely vulnerable to online predators.
- These predators seduce children by showering them with attention, affection, and kindness.
- Opening spam email attachments could cause a computer to be infected with a virus.
- Online “phishing” scams coerce children into revealing personal and confidential identity information.
- Your child turns the monitor off or changes the screen when you enter the room.
- Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.
- Your child is online a lot, especially at night.
- Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from people you don’t know.
- Your child has pornography on his or her computer.
- Your child is making phone calls to numbers you don’t recognize.
- Your child receives calls from strangers.
What can you do?
- Teach your child that saying or doing anything mean, hurtful, or vulgar is wrong.
- Make sure that your child never agrees to meet face-to-face with someone whom he or she has met online without your knowledge.
- Tell your child never to respond to messages that have bad words or are weird or scary.
- Remind your child to never send any pictures to anyone without your permission.
- Monitor the pictures your child puts on the Internet.
- Insist that your child never give out any personal information (e.g., name, phone number, address).
- Review all parental control features in the software your child uses.
- First educate yourself and then your child on Internet safety.
- Know the dangers associated with the websites your child frequents.
- The National Crime Prevention Council is a nonprofit organization that provides training and technical assistance to help families stay safe from Internet crimes.
- Safe Kids, one of the oldest Internet safety sites, was established to help parents and teens learn safety tips for social networking.
- I-SAFE, a nonprofit foundation, is the leader in Internet safety/cyberbullying education, providing programs/curricula for students and parents.
- The Kentucky Center for School Safety is a state agency that provides funding to each school district in the Commonwealth for educating families about safe schools.