If you are like most parents than you have kids or teens at home, also computers and internet. There seems to be no life without this now.
Both parents and children must use the internet for some purpose or the other. So why the need for internet safety rules? Because you cannot cut off or live without computers and internet, but you can certainly have internet safety rules which will keep your child out of harm’s way.
- The personal computer and the Internet are perhaps 20th Century’s most epochal creations. Apart from being extraordinary tools for communication, shrinking the world like never before, linking people across the globe, it also offers users access to humongous amounts of information, and therefore is an invaluable tool both in the academic field as well as the business world. However, like any other technology that can be misused, the Internet can also be a sleazy and dangerous place, especially for the most vulnerable group – teens and children.
- Hence, it is vitally important for parents to be aware and teach their kids Internet safety tips so that they are able to make use of this wonderful technology safely.
- Given below are some Internet safety tips for kids:
- It is important not to allow children to have computers in their bedrooms. Instead, it is best to keep them in an area of the home that is open and visible.
- Explain to children the importance of not divulging personal information on the Internet like the full name, Telephone number, home address, email address, the location and name of their school, parents’ work telephone number/address, social security number, and so on, without prior permission from you.
- Children should be told that if anything online makes them uncomfortable, scared, or worried, that they need to inform you at once. Explain to them the importance of using gender-neutral, nondescript usernames online, especially when chatting online or using a social networking site.
- If your kids do choose to post a photograph on a networking site, it is best to blur it before putting it up.
- Tell them why they must not share passwords with anybody, including their friends.
- Stress about the importance of never agreeing to get together with anyone they may have “met” online, without checking with you first. And if you do agree to the meeting, that it should be done in a public place, with you or your spouse along.
- Tell them the importance of never sending anyone their photograph or anything else without your knowledge.
- Talk to your children about setting up rules about using the Internet. Discuss and decide with them matters like the time of day when they are allowed to be online, how long they can stay online, and which are the appropriate sites that they can visit.
- Tell your children about the importance of not responding to any message that makes them feel uncomfortable, or is mean. Explain that it is not their fault for getting such a message, and that if they do, they must inform you immediately so that the service provider can be contacted.
- Tell them that they need to check with you before installing or downloading software, or doing anything that has the chance of jeopardizing the computer or the family’s privacy.
- Talk to them about never accepting photographs, email, videos, attachments, or files from strangers online.
- They also have to be told that they need to take your permission before taking part in surveys or questionnaires.
Mary Ellen Handy had a painful crash course in the dangers of the Internet. The trouble started in her freshman year of high school after a dispute over a boy’s affections. Once she began dating him, a jealous girl flooded her computer with a stream of nasty messages.
“She’d say, ‘I hate you; leave the school,’ and she called me every name in the book,” says Handy, now an 18-year-old senior in New Jersey. With the speed and ease of the Internet, her classmate soon recruited 20 others to bully Handy online. “
It was like a ripple effect,” she says. As the ordeal dragged on for months, she dreaded going to school, felt physically ill and saw her grades tumble. No doubt, the Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people. But instant messaging, chat rooms, emails and social networking sites can also bring trouble – from cyberbullying to more serious Internet dangers, including exposure to sexual predators.
How savvy are you about keeping your child or teenager safe online? As parents, we would no more allow our family to wander the Internet without some sort of supervision or control than we would allow them to wander in a big city without our supervision.
However, we need to balance that control with appropriate usage of this wonderful technology that puts the world at our fingertips. There is so much good stuff out there that we really don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is not realistic to simply turn off the Internet to our homes.
Our children are going to access the Web somewhere whether that be at a friend’s home, at our local library, Internet cafés, or at school. There is great benefit to encouraging our children to access the Internet to complete their homework assignments, stay in touch with friends, or to keep up with politics, sports and other worthwhile activities.
The Internet will play an increasingly important role in our children’s lives and keeping them away from it would do them a disservice when it comes time for them to find employment in this digital world. Nevertheless, we cannot be naïve about the real dangers lurking on the World Wide Web.
Families should have some Internet Rules and Have Everyone Follow Them To Be Safe….The following are some that I think would work…..
**Internet Safety Rules**
- I will tell my trusted adult if anything makes me feel sad, scared, or confused.
- I will ask my trusted adult before sharing information like my name, address, and phone number.
- I won’t meet face-to-face with anyone from the Internet.
- I will always use good etiquette and not be rude or mean online.
**Middle and High School Internet Safety Rules**
I WILL THINK BEFORE I POST...I agree not to post information and images that could put me at risk, embarrass me, or damage my future, such as cell & home phone numbers home address sexual messages inappropriate pictures and video’s
I WILL RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE ONLINE. I will not….. post anything rude, offensive, or threatening send or forward images and information that might embarrass, hurt, or harass someone take anyone’s personal information and use it to damage his or her reputation. send or forward images and information that might embarrass, hurt, or harass someone take anyone’s personal information and use it to damage his or her reputation.
I WILL BE CAREFUL WHEN MEETING ONLINE FRIENDS IN PERSON I Agree To….. ask my parent or guardian’s permission before going have a parent or guardian accompany me meet in public place
I WILL PROTECT MYSELF ONLINE
- YouTube: YouTube is a service provided by Google that lets you upload or watch videos. Trust me, you can spend hours doing this. There are many videos that will interest you and you can search for a video related to pretty much anything under the sun. You can also choose to upload your own videos on the site and view other people’s comments and opinions on it.
- Google Earth: Another great feature by Google is Google Earth. You can view any location on the planet via a satellite image and see a real-time image from overhead. There is a lot of cool stuff to do online, and this is probably one of the best. You can view your own city, your own street or you can see any place on the planet that you would like to go to. Its reach is unmatched, and it is hard to believe that you actually have the entire world at your fingertips.
- Social Networking: Another fun pastime is visiting social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. These platforms help you keep in touch with your friends, no matter what corner of the world they may be in. This is one of the many cool things to do on the Internet today as everyone is connected with each other in some way. You can constantly see what your friends are up to and they can always feel like they know what is going on in your life.
- Music: The best part about the Internet is the unlimited and extensive access to music. There are radio stations available that can be easily found, and you can hear various genres of online music from all around the world, sitting in your home. Any artist from any time is available at the click of a button, and this is a great way to spend a few hours for music lovers.
- Movie Trailers: Out of the many cool things to do with computers, you can also watch trailers of new upcoming movies. This is a great thing for movie buffs and one can really spend hours watching these trailers online.
- Games: There are many fun games to play online as well that you can resort to in order to pass your time. There are specialized websites that exist over the Internet for this very purpose and it is very easy to find them and play their games online.
Apart from the many cool things to do on the Internet, there are certain unethical and immoral activities that are easily accessible through the Internet and these should be handled at your own discretion. The Internet has given us much to do but we should learn not to abuse the power that we have in our hands.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited children volunteered an entire free website for children to learn all about safely using the Internet. The wonderful thing about NetSmartKids is that children will have so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning important lessons about their online safety.
NetSmartKidz has videos, games and even a “Club UYN” where kids can feel like they’re part of a fun and exciting community where they’ll find updated videos and content every month, and relevant to every season or holiday. There’s even an online “adventure” kids can play called “Router’s Birthday Surprise!” The adventure includes a series of tasks the child must complete, and each task of the game teaches something very important about online safety.
ThinkUKnow kids...A website to help you go on the internet in a safe way and know who to talk to if you are worried.
is a unique online community for young children in that the website serves as both a training ground for kids about how to be careful with online chatting, how to be safe when using computer technology and even how to use technology in a healthy way that promotes balance in that child’s life.
When kids even just start playing the CyberHero game at WoogiWorld, the first thing they can do is play four important missions to learn about the most important online rules when using the Internet.
These missions teach kids about the four most critical areas that kids need to be very aware and alert about potential dangers. Each mission includes fun games with arcade-game style tests kids need to successfully complete before that feature of the online kids community – like chat – gets enabled for their account. These tests are set up like games, but they actually do an excellent job to instill a strong understanding of how to be safe while using those features.
Safety Land is AT&T Online’s Internet safety game. The player is tasked with helping the hero of the game, Captain Broadband, as he attempts to track down a nefarious Internet baddie.The bad character is hiding out in one of the eight Safety Land locations and the player most thus visit each of the locations in search of the bad character, so that Captain Broadband can find him. Each location contains a computer monitor with an internet safety related question.The player must successfully answer a question at each location. If the wrong answer is given at a location, the player is still given the correct answer, so that they can learn proper safety. After all the locations have been answered correctly, the baddie is captured and put behind bars.
Scruff McGruff is the crime fighting dog mascot of the National Crime Prevention Council, made most famous by a series of public service announcements that encouraged children to contact the agency for safety information.With the increasing prevalence of the Internet, the National Crime Prevention Council has launched a website aimed at teaching children safe practices to reduce the risk of them falling victim to predators.The website includes a game section, with games that offer safety advice in many facets of a child’s life. The website features a game dedicated to Internet safety, as well as other online games which teach safe practices such as knowing which adults you can trust, and general good behavior such as cleaning up the neighborhood.
CyberSmart: Digital footprint….Children often separate who they are online with who they are in “real” life. This is a mistake! It is important for kids to understand that who they are online and who they are in person is one and the same.
Such a Fun Way to Teach Kids With This Guide How The Internet Works From The Learning Center. Download this FREE Book.
The Internet is a wonderful, useful tool that we simply can’t afford to deny to your children, but you must know what you’re up against and to keep your children safe.
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