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Tips on safer surfing for Parents and Carers

Tips for parents

Place the computer in a well-trafficked area in the home where the whole family can use it, rather than out of sight in a bedroom. The computer should be set up where it is easy for parents to see the screen and monitor behavior.

Talk with your children to agree what kind of sites they are allowed to visit. Then check to make sure that they stay within these agreed limits.

Keep your children out of unmonitored chat rooms. The best Internet filtering software blocks access to all chat to keep children safe from the threat of dangerous persons, masquerading as kids.

Chat sites are a great way to meet people online and can be lots of fun. But they are open to misuse, so make sure your children are as cautious of strangers online as they would be in the outside world. Tell your children if they receive any obscene, abusive or threatening messages, they shouldn't respond, but to let you know, and you should consider telling your Internet service provider.

Monitor your child's use of chat rooms and keep them out of those that are unmonitored. As children can be under threat from dangerous persons masquerading as kids in chat rooms.

Inform your child that whatever they are told online may or may not be true.

Take advantage of the filtering software readily available in the marketplace. It can help block access to inappropriate sites and restrict times of day and length of time that the internet can be accessed. See the end of this article for more information.

Know your child's e-mail password and tell them to inform you immediately about troubling, unsolicited e-mail. Make sure they understand it is not necessarily their fault if such e-mail arrives.

Let your child know that you are there to talk anytime, about anything they come across that may cause discomfort.

Instruct your child to never do any of the following without your permission:

  • Never to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet online. If you do give permission, be sure that the meeting is in a public place and that you or another responsible adult accompany your child.
  • Never to give out personal information such as their name, age, home address, school name or location, telephone numbers or financial information.
  • Never to download pictures from an unknown source.
  • Never to upload pictures of themselves on to the Internet or online service to people they do not know personally

Tips for Children

Chat rooms and messaging can be great fun, but it is important to remember that you never really know who you are talking to online. It could be someone trying to trick you, some kind of weirdo, or someone really dangerous. Here are some tips to help you keep safe:

  • Do not use your real name in chat rooms - pick an online nickname.
  • Do not tell anyone personal things about yourself or your family - like names, addresses, telephone numbers, clubs you belong to, financial information, age, school name or location.
  • Never send a picture or anything else without first checking with your parents.
  • Never agree to get together with someone that you meet online without first checking with your parents. If your parents agree to the meeting, be sure that it is in a public place and take an adult you know along with you.
  • Never respond to nasty or rude messages. It is not your fault if you get a message like that. If you do, tell your parents right away so they can contact the Internet service provider.
  • Be careful of any email attachments or links, as they can contain nasty images or computer viruses that can ruin the PC. If you receive an email and do not know who it is from, do not open it.
  • Talk with your parents so that you can set up rules for going online. You should decide the time of day you can be online, the length of time you can be online and appropriate sites that you can visit.

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