Internet safety for children has become an increasing area of concern for parents and educators. Access to the Internet provides people from all over the world with an opportunity to communicate and share information with just a few keystrokes and, regrettably, it is not always friendly.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, reports that the Internet provides a source for repeated, long-term victimization of children that can last for years, and physical contact between a child and a perpetrator does not need to occur for a child to become a victim. Predators establish contact with kids through conversations in public chat rooms, instant messages (IM), email, or discussion boards and blogs. Many teens use online peer-support to deal with their problems, and predators often go to these websites to look for vulnerable victims. Also, innocent pictures/images of children can be digitally transformed into pornographic materials and distributed across the Internet without the victim’s knowledge. Once a child’s picture is displayed on the Internet, it can remain there indefinitely.
The information provided on this website will assist you in your effort to help protect your children from Internet predators. Please review the information, pay attention to the sites your children visit, and talk to your children about how they can keep themselves safe.
Through knowledge, we can ensure the safety and well being of our children.
Very truly yours,
Webpage, Technology and Video Production Coordinator
Safety Tips...(more here)
How to protect children from online predators:
- Make sure kids use computers in a common area, rather than in their bedroom, so you can supervise them online.
- Do not allow kids to establish online profiles. This will keep them from being listed in directories and makes it less likely they will be approached in chatrooms by online predators.
- Block instant messages from unknown people.
- Monitor how much time and when kids go on the Internet. Too much online time, especially at night, may be a red flag.
- Use filtering and blocking software.
A sexual predator doesn't need a crowbar or open window to get into your child's room.
SOURCE:The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ProtectKids.com