The internet can be a source of contact with school mates and other friends and a wonderful source of knowledge but it can also a window for adults to prey on them so you need to be alert and aware in what they are doing. So I can always monitor my children online I do not allow free access to the internet and they must first have me sign on with a password. This allows me to worry less in what and where they are on the internet even though it sometimes restricts them to researching for homework assigements until I can log them on. Below are some helpful tips.
Some tips for keeping children safe online:
Keep the computer in a family room so parents can monitor what happens online.
Be alert if children receive gifts or letters in the mail or unusual phone calls.
Keep kids out of chat rooms or monitor their chats. Know whom they talk to.
See what Web sites children create online. Review what information and pictures are being released. MySpace discourages posting any personally identifiable information.
Take a peek at the computer screen occasionally.
Review what files are on the computer. If computers are too confusing, ask a friend, relative or co-worker to help.
Let children know not to give out personal information such as phone numbers or addresses.
Explain that people may not be who they claim to be. Some adults pretend to be kids.
Encourage children to discuss their favorite Web sites and talk about what happens on the Internet, including people they meet.
Children should not spend too much time on the Internet, especially late at night.
Set time limits on surfing and restrict most computer use for specific purposes, such as school work.
Consider installing software that monitors Internet surfing.
Sources: WiredKids.org, MySpace.com, FBI