Safety First: Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace
Child Safety in the Age of Technology
With the ever-increasing development of computer technology and the increasing number of people who are computer literate, it is much more likely that our children may be victimized or exploited in a computer environment. The rapid growth of the Internet allows millions of people around the world to communicate anonymously in a virtually uncontrolled electronic world. Advise your children to observe the following safety rules whenever they are on-line:
- Never to give out any personal information about themselves — particularly real names, addresses, phone number, financial information, etc. to anyone that they meet on computer bulletin boards, chat rooms or by e-mail.
- Report all electronic harassment and/or abuse to parents. As parents, you should notify the ISP (Internet Service Provider) of the problem. If the ISP does not give you satisfaction in stopping the abuse, notify the police.
- Never to set up face-to-face meetings with anyone they have met on-line. If anyone the child meets on-line wants to meet in person - they should notify their parents.
- Safeguard all credit card and telephone card numbers.
Warning Signs of Possible Computer Crime Problems
- Lack of interest in self and appearance, grooming, or indications of lack of sleep.
- Computer and modem running late at night, (even when unattended.)
- Computer files ending in GIF, JPG, BMP, TIF, PCX, PNG, MPG, AVI, WMV, etc. These are picture or graphic image and multimedia files and parents should know what they illustrate. These files may be of a sexual nature.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Children
- Learn about computers.
- Talk to your kids about their use of the computer and the dangers on-line.
- Be involved with your kids in using the computer. This is a great opportunity to spend time with your child.
- Keep the computer visible in a common area of your home. Virtually every case where children were involved in computer crimes or were victims of abuse via computer, computers were in the children's room.