Children are growing up in a digital age and spend a great deal of their time online - social media, instant messaging, researching and shopping. And, while these are all great tools, they need to be used wisely. Children are being targeted by online predators at an alarming rate, so it is critical for adults to help them learn how to protect themselves while still enjoying all of the benefits of the Internet. To help keep your children safe on the Internet:
- Make sure you supervise your children's online activity.
- Keep the computer in a common area of the house, such as the family room, to make keeping a watchful eye a little easier.
- Check the privacy settings on all of their social media accounts.
- Helpful guidelines for Instagram can be found here.
- Helpful guidelines for Facebook can be found here.
- Make a habit of checking the computer's Internet history to find out where your children have been surfing. You can do this by clicking the preference option on your browser.
- Invest in child-safe software, available at software or electronics stores and on the Internet. In chat rooms it is impossible to know whether the 12-year-old at the other end of your child's conversation is really a child or a 43-year- old man with not-so-honest intentions.
- Teach your children to NEVER give any personal identifying information, such as a full name, an address, phone number, school or favorite hangouts.
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