Internet Safety MonthJune 2010
The United States Senate passed a resolution to make the entire month of June "National Internet Safety Month."
This resolution comes in large part because social networking websites such as MySpace have been and are being used by sexual predators to connect with minors. Unfortunately, thousands of minors have already been victims of sexual abuse by pedophiles lurking online. Don't let your child be next.
While the internet provides limitless opportunities to be exposed to new cultures, information, and ever expanding learning experiences for our youth, it also posses a deadly threat. When the online world is used without supervision and proper precautions, our youth are being sexually exploited, bullied, and their identities are being stolen.
The National Coalition has created the following tips for parents as they protect their children online.
- Do not post your cell phone number or home phone number online.
- Develop a trusting relationship with your child.
- Add to online profiles that you monitor your child's use of the Internet.
- Know your children's online friends.
- Check history files often.
- Teach your children that once you post something on the internet it is out of your control forever.
- Spend time with your child as they surf the Internet.
- Ask your child to show you what IM (instant messaging) looks like.
- Have your child teach you about their favorite online destinations.
Get to know and use the Parental Controls provided by your Internet Service Provider and/or blocking software.
- Always maintain access to your child's online account and frequently check his/her account.
- Teach your child about responsible use of the resources on the Internet.
- Find out what safeguards are used at your child's school, the public library and at the homes of your child's friends. These are all places outside your supervision where a child can encounter an online predator.
- Instruct your child NEVER to arrange face-to-face meetings with someone they met online and not to respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing.
- Tell your child to NEVER give out identifying information such as name, address, school name or telephone number to people they don't know.
- Direct your child to NEVER post pictures of themselves or their friends on the Internet. Let them know this has seriously harmed other children.
- Teach your child to come and get you when they access something on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable, no matter what it is.
- Teach your child that the Internet is a good source for educational, recreational and creative searches, but has intentional landmines placed that could hurt them.
- Save copies of your online conversations.
If you feel like your teenager is in trouble online, in school, or in your neighborhood with drugs, alcohol, or sex act now. Contact Parent Help today by calling 866-862-8990 now. Or send us information online now.