Here is some more info about the things you need to think of to keep your family safe when using the internet! Again, this great info comes from Enough is Enough at http://www.internetsafety101.org/
so check them out!
Technical Measures to Protect Kids Online
In addition to safety rules, protecting kids online requires the use of software tools, better known as parental controls. Parental control software helps prevent objectionable content and dangerous people from gaining access to your child. A comprehensive suite of parental control tools should include customizable filters, monitoring software, time-managing controls, and Instant Messaging (IM) and chat controls. Parental controls should be utilized on all Internet-enabled devices (desktops, laptops, and gaming, mobile, and music devices). However, these resources are not a substitute for parental supervision.
►Set age-appropriate filters: Filters block categories of inappropriate websites a child can view, such as sites containing pornography, violence, gambling, and illegal drug information. Settings are password-protected. Remember that no filter is a substitute for parental supervision, and filters may not stop a determined child from bypassing them and accessing unsuitable content. Also, set filters to block access to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, which allow users to connect directly to each others’ computers to retrieve and swap files, without a server, and which contain tremendous amounts of pornography and child pornography.
7 out of 10 Internet users ages 8 to 18 were exposed to unwanted sexual material and more than three-quarters of unwanted exposure to pornography (79%) happened at home.1
►Consider using monitoring software, especially if you sense your child is at risk: Monitoring software, or keystroke capture devices, can provide a full and complete record ofwhere your child goes online, monitor outgoing and incoming communications, and identify a child’sonline buddies. More robust monitoring tools let parents see each website their children visit, viewevery e-mail or instant message they send and receive, and can even record every word they type.Many monitoring tools can send parents a periodic report summarizing their child’s Internet usage and communications. These programs empower parents and guardians to set online boundaries fortheir children. Parents should tell their children that monitoring is being used unless the parent suspectstheir child is involved in risky behavior, in which case it may be better to go stealth.
80% of sexual predators are explicit about their sexual intentions. The offenders lure teens after weeks of online conversations, playing on common teen vulnerabilities, such as their desires for romance, adventure, sexual information, and understanding. In 73% of these crimes, the youth meet the offender on multiple occasions for sexual encounters.2
►Periodically check your child’s online activity by viewing your browser’s history: Watch out for any sites that sound inappropriate (although not every inappropriate site hasan inappropriate name!). If you notice the history has been cleared or deleted, have a discussion withyour child about the sites he or she visited. Be aware that your child may selectively delete files fromthe history list. If you are concerned about your child’s online activity, you may want to install monitoringsoftware.
65% of all parents and 64% of all teens say that teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about.3
►Set time limits: Excessive time online, especially at night, may indicate a problem. Remind your child that Internet use is a privilege, not a right. If necessary, utilize time-limiting software tools, which allow parents to manage the amount of time and times of day their children are allowed online.
►Disallow access to chat rooms and only allow live audio chat with extreme caution: Chat rooms are the playground of today’s sexual predator; they allow immediate, directcommunications between participants. Many geared toward adolescents are known for explicit sexualtalk and obscene language, fostering an atmosphere which may attract online child molesters. Chat rooms also allow users to communicate via webcam and audio chat.
Many gaming programs also come equipped with live audio chat capabilities through which individuals can alter the sound of their voice. Only mature teens should be allowed to use live audio chat. Remind your child to only interact with individuals they know offline. It’s impossible for a parent, child, chat-room monitor, or any technology tool to recognize a disguised, anonymous predator.
Most sexual solicitation incidents (79%) happened on home computers, beginning with personal questions about the teen’s physical appearance, sexual experience, and with propositions for “cybersex.” 37% of sexual solicitation incidents happen while youth are in chat rooms, and many occur in live chat or instant-message sessions.4
►Limit your child’s Instant Messaging (IM) contacts to a parent-approved buddy list: If you decide to allow your child to use IM, block all communications from anyone noton the child’s pre-approved contact list. Robust parental control software will prevent your child fromadding anyone to their buddy list unless you have approved the addition. However, since some kids areable to bypass parental controls, regularly check their buddy list to ensure that it has not been altered.
Be aware that many online communities, such as social networking and gaming sites, now have IM and chat features, and not all parental control software provides coverage over these new chat platforms.
►Use safe search engines: Although search engines enable your kids to find fun websites and educational information, they can also be an efficient gateway to pornography and other objectionable content. Major search engines have addressed this need by creating child-safe zones. Some give the option of parental controls or safe searches. Consult the information on your ISP’s and search engine provider’s settings page to make sure that the safe search option is on.
►Set up the family’s cyber-security protections: In addition to setting up parental controls, regularly update the operating system and install a firewall and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. The instant a computer is connected to the Internet or an “always on” broadband connection, hackers and thieves can attempt to gain access to the family’s financial and personal information. By securing your computer, you can help protect against these Internet intruders and the malicious programs that can infiltrate your computer.
►Utilize parental controls on your child’s mobile phone and mobile devices: All of the major cell phone carriers offer parental controls of some level, including the ability to set content filters, disable or limit Internet access on Web-enabled phones. Mobile controls can also allow parents to disable, limit or monitor a child’s text, picture and video messaging.
In a recent survey from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, one out of five teens reported that they have ‘electronically sent or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures of videos of themselves.’ 5
1 Finkelhor, David, Kimberly Mitchell, and Janis Wolak. National Juvenile Online Victimization Study. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2007.
2 Lenhart, Amanda. Family, Friends & Community: Protecting Teens Online. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2005.
3 Subrahmanyam, Kaveri, David Smahel, and Patricia Greenfield. “Connecting developmental constructions to the Internet: Identity presentation and sexual exploration in online teen chat rooms.” Developmental Psychology 42.3 (2006) 395-406.
4 Wolak, Janis, Kimberly Mitchell, and David Finkelhor, 2006.
5 <Teen Pregnancy Survey… need to add