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View Blog Archive WebSchoolPro Blog > Protecting Children Online - Part II: Quick Tips

Category - General
Posted - 04/20/2010 02:04pm
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Protecting Children Online - Part II: Quick Tips
By Sarah Sorensen
April 19, 2010

My last blog focused on some general guidelines to protect our children online, here are some quick, concrete tips to keep them safe:

-- Make sure usernames/screen names/email addresses do not have any personally identifiable information

Stay away from initials, birthdates, hobbies, towns, graduation year, etc.

The smallest piece of identifiable information could lead a predator to you - remember they are highly motivated

--Don't link screen names to email addresses - if a child gets an email they tend to think it is okay, it's not. Reiterate that if they don't actually know the person, they are a stranger, regardless of how they contact them.

--Set up their buddy/friends list and regularly update and check them to ensure your kids are only interacting with people they actually know; this goes for their phone too.

--Don't post personal information - don't respond to requests from people OR companies

eMarketer found that 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services

--Keep the computer in a public part of the house

--Consider limiting the amount of time they can spend on their phone, iPod, iPad, computer, etc. to whatever you deem as reasonable.

--Regularly check their online surfing history - know exactly where they are going and talk to them about it, so they know you know.

--Use filtering software to prevent access from things you know are bad. Note: only 1/3 of households are using blocking or filtering software.

--Protect your computing resources

Use parental controls - check out Norton's family plan as an example of tools you can consider installing

Here's a list from InformationWeek on security technologies (protection from viruses, bots, Trojans and other malware) you might want to consider

Note be sure to use software from a reputable source, otherwise you may be unwittingly downloading malware that can do more harm than good

Make sure it offers a wide range of protection - different attacks use different methods to infiltrate your computer and you want full coverage

--Follow good rules of thumb

Don't open anything (emails or attachments) from anyone you don't know

Don't open anything that looks a little too good to be true - it probably is

Make sure your email doesn't automatically open emails - check your settings