Tuesday, May 13, 2008

10 Rules for Internet Safety

Some of these tips made me say "no duh," but you never know what your kids are thinking. It seems like it would be worth reviewing these safety tips with kids, even though some of them seem obvious.

iVillage lists these 10 rules for kids Internet safety:

1. Never give out personal information on the Internet, such as their address, telephone number, the name or location of their school, or their parents' names.

2. Be cautious when developing a website. Children should know never to post a home address, telephone number, or personal photograph on the site. If children wish to have people contact them, they should post an email address.

3. Always inform their parents when they come across anything online that makes them uncomfortable. Parents and children can alert their Internet provider or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children hot line at 1-800-843-5678.

4. Never, under any circumstances, agree to meet face-to-face someone they have corresponded with online without a parent's permission. If a meeting is arranged, make sure that it takes place in public and that parents always accompany the child.

5. Avoid chat rooms that discuss sex or cults. While these topics may seem interesting at first, they could put a child in danger.

6. Be suspicious of anyone they meet in a chat room who tries to turn them against their family, friends, teachers, or religion.

7. Choose a gender-neutral online name in a chat room to avoid harassment.

8. Never respond to messages or bulletin boards that are sexually obscene, threatening, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way.

9. Never send any personal materials to an online friend, such as an address, telephone number, or photograph, without first informing parents.

10. Always be reminded that the people they meet online may not be who they say they are.

Do your kids get on-line? My four-year-old does. It is a rule not to get on-line without permission, but that doesn't always happen. He doesn't know how to chat or email, but he knows how to get to sproutonline.com and noggin.com.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Rixblix said...

How about no internet access on computers that aren't in a common/public room of the house? How about password protecting internet access so that "accidental" access isn't allowed?

Also, my children (10 and 12) both have email addresses, but I set them up and know the passwords so that I can access the accounts whenever I want.

newsanchormom.com said...

Those are great rules! I definitely think the doctor should have included those "rules" when making this list. Maybe I should have moms make a new list!

Jennifer said...

My kids both have email addresses and Myspace accounts. I let them, but the rule is I have the passwords and will frequently check their accounts.
We've talked about predators and online safety a lot, and also the issue of personal responsibility. That whatever they post online is there FOREVER (even if they think they've deleted it), so they should never post anything questionable, this includes no gossiping about others, no angry rants, no name calling, etc..

Jennifer said...

Oh, and I agree with Rix, we only have computers in common areas of the house (ditto for cable tv).

newsanchormom.com said...

The no name calling and gossiping is probably a good rule for all of us to follow. Great point that the words will be in cyberspace forever!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with having the computer in a common area of the home. We also have our child's passwords and check them frequently. There is now way I would allow a computer or cable/dish access in my child's room.

KenS said...

Parents should be monitoring Internet activity. Period. Capacity ranges depending you age and relationship with your child, but completely ignoring it (as way too many parents do) is ridiculous and borderline abusive (hey, if keeping your kid home from school can be considered “abuse” so can this). Technology is available… Check out my blog (click above) for rants and ideas (specifically software: PC Pandora). Be a parent. Pay attention.

Luke Gilkerson said...

These are some great thoughts! Thanks for putting this blog together for moms. It is very informative.

Did you know that the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is children between ages 12 and 17?

I've also recently learned that aAccording to the second Youth Internet Safety Survey there is a documented increase in the proportion of kids reporting unwanted exposure to pornography.

I'd love to hear your comments on some blog posts I published a while back about cyberbullying and online predators:

1. Safety Tips for Parents: http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/03/25/a-parents-guide-to-internet-safety-for-children/
2. Online Predators: http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/04/03/protecting-kids-online-the-myths-and-realities-of-online-predators/
3. Cyberbullying: http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/04/07/cyberbullying-the-new-playground/

Luke Gilkerson said...

Oh, one more thing . . .

I'm curious: have you heard of the Covenant Eyes filter and accountability programs? What makes them unique is that it gives you the option to simply monitor your Internet surfing, filter it, or both. A good filtering program is very helpful for children and families, but a good monitoring program is great for adults and children alike who want to be accountable to others about where they go online. If you want to know more, read up on it at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/help_and_support/article/covenant_eyes_products

Aunt Lee said...

For a fun way for parents to jump-start a discussion about internet and social networking safety, here’s a website that includes an instructional video and a very easy quiz.


The video is a selection of silly clips supposedly posted to the MySpace pages of the famous auntlee.com puppy and some of her friends. The clips demonstrate mistakes kids can make online.

The 10 question quiz covers the topics of cyber-bullying, privacy, safety, dangers of spyware and malware, etc.

The quiz doesn’t really focus on stranger-danger type concerns but rather gently and humorously reminds the reader that it’s possible to hurt people’s feelings, to mislead people who don’t realize you’re joking, to remember that online postings can be seen by anybody and that postings are often impossible to remove once posted.

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