Monday, February 16, 2015

Keeping Kids Safer on the Internet Part 3

We hope you have found the information on Keeping Kids Safer on the internet to be useful in your homes. Here are a few more tips as we come to the end of the series.

Begin a dialogue with your kids about Internet use
Because we use the Internet in different ways, kids and adults may learn from each other. By talking about Internet use with your kids, you are opening the door to discussing the important issues of personal safety and helping them engage in responsible behavior. Check out to find resources for both kids and adults.

Consider Rating, Blocking, Monitoring, and Filtering Applications for your Computer
Software and services are available to help parents and guardians set limits on kids internet use. Most computer-operation systems have optional filters allowing parents and guardians to block websites they consider inappropriate. Some services rate websites for content. Some programs prevent users from entering information such as names and addresses, and others keep kids away from chat rooms or restrict their ability to send or read email. Monitoring programs allow you to see where your kids go online. But remember these programs and services don't develop kids own sense of safety, and they are not substitute for parental/guardian communications, supervision and involvement.

Make Internet Use a Family Activity While Encouraging Critical Thinking
By Setting aside time to go online with your kids you not only become more aware of what they do online, you reinforce positive Internet skills. Helping your kids with a research project is a great opportunity reliable information, are simply someone's opinion and are to be avoided entirely. And when looking at e-mails together ask, "Are these people who they seem to be?" These are prime opportunities to help kids develop their critical-thinking skills

Set Reasonable Rules
Work with your kids to develop reasonable rules. Consider setting rules about the time of day, length of time, people they may communicate with, and appropriate areas for them to visit while online. Also explain to your kids why these rules are important.

Encourage your Kids to Go to you when they Encounter Problems Online
It's important to reassure kids if they encounter problems online or view something disturbing, it's not their fault. Discussing these issues openly may reduce their fear of going to you. Be a resource. Let them know if they share the experience with you, you will help them, not punish them. At the same time help them understand what happened and avoid the situation in the future.

It's all about communication!

**Thank you to Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Mayo clinic for all this information

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