Kid Safety on the Internet Jennifer Jahedkar Extension Information Technology [email_address]
Kid Safety on the Internet
On the web, kids can learn about great things like ancient history, how to write an essay, or how to be a friend.
They can also learn about not so great things. And not so great people can find them.
But there’s nothing we can do about that. Or is there??
A 13-year-old Manchester Township girl was on her way to meet a man she met through MySpace at a train station when her grandfather found out and stopped her. The 38-year-old man she was to meet was arrested and found to be in possession of a child's train ticket, handcuffs, a knife, lubricant and condoms.
A 23-year-old Pueblo man is being held after soliciting sex with children in an Internet chat room. The man allegedly posted a message asking to meet privately with children. An investigator posed as a 14-year old girl, and the man met her at a park and was apprehended. The man sought children age 14 and younger.
- San Pueblo Cheiftan, March 2005 http://www.chieftain.com/
Statistics, tips, interviews…
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
Child internet Safety Booklet and Teen internet Safety Booklet
CBS Video Series- GENTEC
Webcam safety Audio Interview with Ernie Allen, CEO of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Blogging Risks : Larry Magid interviews John Shehan of CyberTipline on misuse of social-networking services like MySpace.
What can we do
How can we protect children from the bad that’s lurking online??
There’s not an easy, foolproof way.
It’s an ongoing battle.
But there are tools that can raise our awareness and help us in the battle.
Tools to help
filtering and monitoring programs can:
filter explicit content
log text chats
log sites visited and IM conversations
restrict internet access or access to a specific application (like IM) to a certain timeframe
like 7-9pm M–F and 12-2pm Sat.
What can be done
Use a program to filter content, maintain logs, and cut off internet access at 10pm, the kids’ bedtime.
Google “parental control software”
Ask who they’re IM-ing, and have them say hi for you.
Create your own account to IM them, and see when they’re online.
Learn the IM language:
PAW (parents are watching); PIR (parents in room); PLOS ( Parents Looking Over Shoulder).
To learn more visit sites like http://www.netlingo.com and http:// www.noslang.com /dictionary/full . Warning- some terms are not for the faint of heart.
Monitoring kids’ online activity may make you uncomfortable, and whether to do so or not is certainly your choice.
Kids are likely to say we parents are being overly suspicious and overprotective.
In our family it’s known that I can track what the kids do online…it’s a condition of them being online at all.
As parents, isn’t it our job to try to protect kids from bad things, on the street and on the web?
Information about Internet safety & Parental Controls: