Internet Safety: Are Your Children At Risk?
More and more when it comes to Cyberspace safety, parents have a lot to worry about. Chances are if you are the parent of a teen or preteen, your child surfs the web.
Most teens join in various newsgroups, post messages to board on the web or participate in chat groups, post to blogs, or produce online videos to share..
By now you may have read a brochure or two discussing the dangers cyberspace poses to young children or teams.
Keep in mind young children use the web for many purposes too.
While it is true they may use the computer for class assignments, to print their own unique or personal letterhead for some other benign purpose. However, More often than not teens and preteens are using the web as a form of mass communication and socialization.
Communication With Children Key To Safety:
The problem with the web is you never know who exactly is on the other side of that communication chain.
While your child may think they are chatting safely with another child, there is always the very real risk they are chatting with an Internet predator or Cyber Stalker.
Parents should also know that children can access the Internet through various means, and not simply at home through the family computer.
While many children will log in from home, others will log in at school, from a friends house, Internet kiosk or even the local or school library.
Of special note is that while most schools lock down the PC's in their libraries to prevent children from accessing porn, this IS NOT the case in public libraries.
So how do you protect your child on the web? You can and must first openly communicate with your children about the dangers using the web pose.
Simply having real world conversations with your children may help put the issue in perspective.
You should also encourage your children to maintain their privacy but also explain to them how important it is to use the web safely.
Let them know while you respect their privacy you may instill certain rules or block certain sites that may be dangerous for them to use.
You should also encourage your children to confide to you if they experience problems on the web, including harassment and bullying.
The more open you are with your children, the more likely they are to discuss their concerns or problems they have with you.
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