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Safety tips for protecting kids online.
Kids are logging on to the Internet more than ever before, playing games,
chatting with friends, and getting help with schoolwork. The Internet has
opened up a whole new world for them. However, the online world, like the
real world, is made up of a wide array of people. Most are decent and
respectful, but some may be rude, obnoxious, insulting, or even mean and
exploitative. Areas full of sex, violence, drugs, and other adult themes are
another possible danger for them.
The fact that crimes can be committed online, however, is not a reason to avoid using these services. Children need parental supervision and commonsense advice on how to make their experiences with the Internet happy, healthy, and productive.
We’ll give you some important tips and the essential tools, and we’ll show you how to put them together to make the Internet a safe place for your child.
iProtectYou will run in the background on your computer while your kids
are surfing the Internet. It filters pornographic and other offensive content,
monitors each surfer's online journeys, blocks access to certain web sites and
newsgroups, keeps kids out of the shadier chat rooms and logs their online
activities. Combining the use of iProtectYou with as much supervision as
possible is the best method of protecting your child online.
Below you will find 13 basic online safety tips and how to apply them to your situation using iProtectYou Pro as an essential tool. Visit the SoftForYou Web Site to download the 14-day trial version of this program for free.
Tip #1 If possible, keep the computer in a visible place in the house.
Ask questions. Walk by and check what is on the screen. If your child
quickly closes the screen, this is a red flag and should be investigated.
Tip #2 Spend time on the Internet with your children.
Go online with your children as often as possible and help them identify
inappropriate communications. Give them a chance to show you what they
have learned or the things they like. Send E-Greetings and Christmas cards
to family and friends or participate in interactive games together. Ask your
children to tell about their cyberspace friends, just as you would want to
know their real-life friends.
Tip #3 Schedule Internet use for your children.
Limit young grade-schoolers to 30-60 minutes a few times a week; older
kids may need more frequent access for school projects. This will make
them more responsible in using the Internet.
Open the iProtectYou Control Panel and click on the "Internet Timetable" button to open the corresponding dialog. Select the group you want to restrict and check the "Enable Timetable" checkbox. To deny Internet access at certain hours, just click on those hours once to make them red. To enable Internet access at these hours, click them once more. The cell should change its face color from red to green.
Tip #4 Set Traffic Limits.
Limit your children to 1-3 megabytes they can download/upload per day to
prevent them from downloading pornographic films or non-licensed software.
Open the iProtectYou Control Panel and click on the "Traffic Limits" button to open the corresponding dialog. Select the group you want to restrict, check the "Enable Traffic Limits" checkbox and set limits.
Tip #5 Limit your children to only certain websites, newsgroups and chat rooms.
Sit down with your child and agree on types of websites your child may and
may not visit. Limit the use of Instant Messaging and chat rooms.
Open the iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Settings" button to open the iProtectYou Settings dialog and select "Web Sites" from the tree. Click on the "Permitted Web Sites List" and fill in the corresponding list to restrict to only these few web sites or click on the "Blocked Web Sites List" and fill in the corresponding list to block access to these certain web sites. News Groups can be adjusted with the same pattern. Now select the "Programs" item in the tree. Click on the "Blocked Programs List" and fill in the corresponding list of restricted programs that must not have Internet access.
Tip #6 Never give out personal information.
Instruct your kids never to give out personal information (name, address,
age, telephone number, password, credit card number, and so on) in chat
rooms, email, or bulletin boards. Be aware that Web sites for children—
even the most reputable ones—sometimes ask for e-mail and home
addresses, telephone numbers, and parents’ professions before allowing
children to enter.
To prevent private information from being published on the Internet, open the iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Settings" button to open the iProtectYou Settings dialog, select "Inappropriate Words" from the tree and click on "Inappropriate Words" on the right. Add your private information, credit card number for example, here.
Tip #7 Never have online profiles.
Instruct your kids never to have online profiles, so they will not be listed in
directories and are less likely to be approached in children's chat rooms,
where pedophiles often search for prey.
Tip #8 Use nicknames instead of real names.
A nickname—an online alias (like KingStar or PinkPanther)—is also vital
to protecting privacy because it conceals a person’s real identity. Consider
sharing the same nickname and e-mail address with your children under 14
so that you can closely monitor the instant and e-mail messages that come
to them. Do not allow your children to select sexually suggestive
Tip #9 Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online.
Instruct children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with another
computer user without parental permission. Never allow them to get
together with someone they "met" online without first checking this
“friend” out to the best of your ability. If a meeting is arranged, make the
first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child. Thus,
someone indicating that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could in reality be a
Tip #10 Randomly check visited web sites log.
Viewing the log of visited web sites can give you enough information about
your kid’s habits, interests and online friends. Normally you should do this
only occasionally but if your child becomes secretive, then you should
check more often. If you find that the history of sites visited is deleted in
your Web Browser, this is a signal that something is going on and should be
iProtectYou keeps its logs in encrypted, hidden files and it is impossible to delete these logs without knowing the administrator password. Open the iProtectYou Control Panel and click on the "Logs and Charts" button to open the corresponding dialog. Here you will find the detailed log of visited Web Sites and online activity of Internet programs on your computer.
Tip #11 Teach children netiquette.
Good manners can protect kids, too. Words written are just as strong as
words spoken. Tell children never to respond to messages or bulletin board
postings that are suggestive, obscene, or harassing. Ask them to be sensitive
to others’ feelings when posting online messages and to avoid being rude,
mean, sarcastic, or excessively argumentative. A comment that’s meant to
be funny could seem insulting and make others mad. Visit message boards
and chat rooms with your kids to point out comments that could be
Tip #12 Teach children be careful with e-mails from people they do not know.
Instruct your child never to open emails, especially with attachments, from
people they do not know. Most likely these emails contain a computer virus
or they are mass mailing (spam) e-mails with inappropriate content.
Tip #13 Set administrator password for your Filtering program.
Do not forget to set the administrator password in your filtering program to
protect your settings from being changed by your smart kid. Without this,
your filtering program makes no sense. Make sure you store your password
in a safe place because if you forget your password you will lose access to
your filtering program. If that happens, contact http://www.softforyou.com/support.php
Open the iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Settings" button to open the iProtectYou Settings dialog and select” Settings” from the tree. Click on the “Change Password" button and enter your new password.
Reporting Internet Abuse
If you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child
pornography while online, immediately report this to the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678
The Internet is a great place for kids. By applying real-world parenting skills and remedies to the wired world, you can make the Internet a safe place for your child to learn and play. The more time you spend with your children, the more rewarding the whole experience of the Internet can be, and the more their safety is ensured. Remember, Internet use is a privilege that can be taken away if misused.
You are free to redistribute this eBook for noncommercial purposes, providing none of the content is changed.
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