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KSP sends Tips on keeping kids safe while browsing the Internet

These tips were sent as a part of an earlier story. We thought they are so basically important to parenting, grandparenting, and protecting the village that they are posted in a short, easy to read, stand-alone but linked story. Comments are welcome. -CM
Related: KSP Arrests Seven Across the State for Internet Related Crimes

Tpr.Michael Webb, Public Affairs Branch
Kentucky State Police, Frankfort, KY

During this time of year, technology-related devices are commonly purchased as gifts for the upcoming holidays. Following are some general guidelines to help keep kids safe:

Tips For Keeping Kids Safe Online.

Browsing the Internet
  • Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.

  • Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.

  • Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, and make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.

  • Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.

  • Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.

  • Continually talk with your children about online safety.

  • Choose an Internet browser with safety options appropriate for your family. There are browsers that are specifically designed for kids, as well as browsers that offer safer and age-appropriate filtering options. Many electronic service providers (ESPs) offer free filters to help prevent kids from accessing inappropriate websites. Contact your ESP to learn what Internet-safety options are available.

  • Teach your kids that if they see any material which makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused to immediately tell you or another trusted adult. A trusted adult is a person you have come to rely on and with whom you and your kids feel comfortable.

  • Help your kids find information online. By searching the Internet together you can help them find reliable sources of information and distinguish fact from fiction. Cell Phones/Wireless Devices and Texting

  • Review cell phone records for any unknown numbers and late night phone calls and texts.

  • Remind your child that texting is viral--anything sent in a text can be easily forwarded and shared.

  • Teach your child never to reveal cell phone numbers or passwords online.

  • Talk to your child about the possible consequences of sending sexually explicit or provocative images or text messages.

  • When shopping for a cell phone for your child, research the security settings that are available. Social Networking

  • Instruct your kids to use privacy settings to restrict access to profiles so only the individuals on their contact lists are able to view their profiles.

  • Remind kids to only add people they know in real life to their contact lists.

  • Encourage kids to choose appropriate screen names or nicknames. Talk to your kids about creating strong passwords, such as those that use the first letter of each word of a phrase or an easy-to-remember acronym.

  • Visit social-networking websites with your kids, and exchange ideas about OK versus potentially risky websites.

  • Ask your kids about the people they are communicating with online.

  • Make it a rule with your kids that they can never give out personal information or meet anyone in person without your prior knowledge and consent.

  • Encourage your kids to think "Is this message harmful, dangerous, hurtful, or rude?" before posting or sending anything online. Teach your kids not to respond to any rude or harassing remarks or messages that make them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused and to show you these messages instead.

  • Check your child's friend lists to see who has access to his or her profile. Make sure your child knows all friends in person.

  • Teach your child to set profiles to private-but be aware that privacy settings do not guarantee complete privacy.

  • Have your child remove any inappropriate content and photos and delete any personal information.

  • Check the profiles of your child's friends to see if there is revealing information or photos about your child.

  • Report inappropriate or criminal behaviour to the appropriate authority.
Most sites have a reporting mechanism for non-criminal behavior. Criminal behavior should be reported through law-enforcement agencies and the CyberTipline(R) by clicking the following link: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

- TPR Michael Webb

This story was posted on 2012-12-19 04:23:35
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