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Online Child Safety


What is a social network?
A social network is a Web site that allows users to connect with friends and family, share photos, videos, music and other personal information with either a select group of friends or a wider group of people, depending on the selected settings. Social networking Web sites function like an online community of Internet users. Each user creates their own profile where they publish personal information and photos and each user can decide which other registered users of the social network will join their list of friends, or contacts.

Using privacy settings they can also decide who will be able to see the information they publish – starting with only those they’ve approved as friends and up to anyone who is part of the social network.
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Is it safe to let my child have a profile in a social networking site?
It can be. Teens who are careful only to share information that they feel safe sharing with the world and who use the site’s privacy settings to ensure that their profiles are only visible to people they know in real life, are less likely to have any unwanted attention.
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What is a chat room?
Chat rooms are “meeting places” on the Internet where you can have live, real-time conversations with many people from all over the world, at the same time. Chat rooms are usually intended for people who share similar interests, such as comics, gardening or pets.

Everyone in the chat room can see what everyone else writes, but you, or your children for that matter, can still use an anonymous alias. While this anonymity can protect your children’s real identities and encourage them to have open conversations, it can also serve to hide the true identity of predators trying to contact young people in order to goad them to talking about intimate subjects, or even worse, to meeting with them in person.
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Should I allow my child to use IM or Chat Rooms?
It is fine to allow children to IM, but keeping it only to people they know in the real world is the safest bet. Use parental controls to ensure their conversations are limited only to people on their buddy list that you approve.

Chatting can be a fun social online activity, but kids should only be in chat rooms that are designed for kids of their age group. Most chat rooms for kids are monitored by trained staff and/or only allow limited words are used, to prevent kids from inadvertently being unsafe. Be sure the chat rooms you allow are appropriate for your kids by going in yourself and seeing what the experience is like and if you feel safe allowing your kids in the environment.
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What should I do to protect my kids while they are online?
  • Be involved in their online activities (for younger kids).
  • Use parental control (content filtering) software.
  • Take the computer out of your kids’ bedroom and into an open area in your home.
  • Limit and monitor the amount of time your children spend on the Internet, and at what times of day
  • Establish rules for Internet use with your kids – you can sign a contract.
  • Make sure people they communicate with online are people they actually know. "Friends" people meet online aren't always honest about their real identities.
  • Teach kids what types of behavior can be potentially dangerous of and encourage them to ask you about anything they feel is out of the ordinary.
  • Lead by example. Limit your online time and use the Internet and your mobile phone wisely.

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Should I install parental control software?
If you want to block out web sites or content that may be inappropriate for your kids, then it is something you should consider. By installing parental control software, you can better monitor your child’s internet activity. When trying to decide on which software to use make sure you are getting the best solution for your kids’ online safety. Here are some things to look out for:
  • You probably want an Internet filter, but is it appropriate for your kids and their age groups?
  • Can you define a different profile for each one of your kids?
  • Can it protect your kids from the dangers of file sharing?
  • Does it monitor or block your kids IM messages?
  • Does it report activity back to your email, or does it just filter out what it thinks is appropriate?
  • Does it enable time limits for your kids’ online time as well as deciding upon the exact hours they can be online?

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I saw "PAW" in my child's instant message. What does "PAW" mean?
Kids often use abbreviations when sending messages on instant messaging programs or when they are texting. In this case, "PAW" means “Parents are watching” – and serves to warn the other side that you are there and they should be careful with what they say. Click here to see a list of commonly used abbreviations that you might find helpful.
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How difficult is it to un-install online child safety software?
Uninstalling online child safety software is very simple, if you know the software’s administrator password.
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If I install online child safety software, will I be able to continue surfing regularly?
Sure. If you know the software’s administrator password, all you have to do is turn off the program and continue surfing as before. This is a very simple process.
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Do I have to be a computer expert to install online child safety software?
No. When installing, you always have the option to use the program’s default settings. Most of the time these will work just fine.
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Tags: online child safety, FAQS
 
 



"PureSight Owl 2011 can detect cyberbullying in IM, terminate the conversation, block the perpetrator, and notify Mom; impressive!.."

Real Life Story

Ryan Halligan was only 13…
When he took his life, because was he ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line.

 
 
 
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