With computer technology growing at such a rapid rate, and the internet becoming easier and easier to access at home and school, the need to protect our children from the dangers of the internet is as important as ever. Pornography, bigotry and predators are just a very small portion of what awaits unsuspecting children on the web unless parents and teachers lay down some boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. This website endeavours to give hints, tips, ideas and information to help adults and children better deal with some of the dangers and make the internet a safer place for kids.

 

Tips for Adults

• Instruct your child to never to give personal information
  to strangers - ie. home address or phone number,
  school name or location - in a public message such as
  chat rooms or bulletin boards.


• Consider the use of a pseudonym and unlisting your
  child's name if your service allows it.


• Get to know the websites your child visits and the
  services your he or she uses. If you don't know how to
  log on to your child's favorite services, get them to
  show you. Familiarize yourself with these sites and
  services in order to determine whether they contain
  content suitable for viewing by your child.


• Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting
  with another computer user without parental permission.
  If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public
  spot, and be sure to accompany your child to the
  meeting.


• Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that
  are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or
  make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your child to
  tell you if they encounters such messages. If you or your
  child receive a message that is harassing, of a sexual
  nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to
  your service provider and ask for their assistance.


• Remember that people children meet online may
  necessarily be who they seem. Because you cannot see
  or even hear the person it would be easy for someone
  to misrepresent themselve. Thus, someone indicating
  that they are a 13 year old girl, they could in fact be a
  45 year old man posing as a teenage girl.


• Get to know your child's online friends just as you get to
  know all of their other friends.


• Consider using parental control software to make sure
  your home computer is not being used for inappropriate
  behaviour. Check the browser history to make sure
  inappropriate sites are not being visited, and purge the
  cache
if any are found. Use tools to periodically clean
  the computer of unwanted files to reduce the potential of
  exposure of your child.



 
 


• Should 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 by calling
  1-800-843-5678 or visiting the CyberTipLine online.
  You should also notify your online service.


• Remeber that anything you read online may or may
  not be true. Any offer that seems "too good to be
  true" probably is. Be very careful about any offers
  that involve you coming to a meeting or having
  someone visit your house.


• Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer
  use by your child (see "Tips for Children" below).
  Discuss these rules and post them near the computer
  as a reminder. Remeber to monitor their compliance
  with these rules.

• A child's excessive use of online services, especially
  late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential
  problem
. Remeber that personal computers and
  online services should not be used as electronic
  babysitters. Scan and clean the home computer hard
  drive
regularly.


• Be sure to make using the internet a family activity.
  Consider keeping the computer in a family room
  rather than the child's bedroom. Keep an eye out for
  adult content
stored on the hard drive.


• Watch out for internet hoaxes. These can consist of
  chain letters disguised as charity fundraisers,
  pyramid schemes designed as legitimate employment
  opportunities, false virus warnings, and requests to
  log into your bank, Paypal or eBay accounts. To
  verify a possible hoax, visit the Department of
  Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability
  website.


• Beware of messages that suggest you have won a
  prize or inheritance and that you must either supply
  personal information or click on a link in the message
  in order to collect the money.

• Ensure you install anti-spyware/malware and anti-
  virus software on your computer and use the
  programs regularly to protect your computer and the
  information stored within it.

Tips for Children

• Don't ever give out personal information such as your
  home address, telephone number, parents’ work address
  and telephone number, or the name and location of your
  school without your parents’ permission.


• Tell your parents right away if you come across any
  information on the internet that makes you feel
  uncomfortable.


• Never agree to get together face-to-face with someone you
  "meet" online without first getting permission from your
  parents. If your parents agree to the meeting, make sure it
  happens in a public place and that either your mother or
  father go with you.


• Never send a person your picture without first getting
  permission from your parents.


• Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any
  way make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault if you
  get a message like that. If you do, tell your parents right
  away so that they can stop it from happening again.


• Do not tell your Internet password to anyone except for your
  parents - not even your best friends!


• Be a good online citizen - do not do anything that hurts
  other people or is against the law.

  The following could be used as an 'Internet Contract' or Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) between you and your child, that the child signs to allow him / her access to the internet. This is one way to ensure that the child understands what is expected of him/her, and to show that the rules are important enough to require the 'Internet Contract'.

1. I will never give out personal information such as my
    home address, telephone number, parents’ work
    address and telephone number, or the name and location
    of my school without my parents’ permission.
2. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any
    information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
3. I will never agree to get together face-to-face with
    someone I "meet" online without first getting permission
    from my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will
    be sure it is in a public place and that either my mother or
    father come with me.
4. I will never send a person my picture without first getting
    without first checking with my parents.
5. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in
    any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if
    I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right
    away so that they can prevent it happening again.
6. I will not tell my Internet password to anyoneexcept for
    my parents - not even my best friends!
7. I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that
   hurts other people or is against the law.
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