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Tips on How to Keep Your Children Safe Online

Although the Internet has brought a lot of conveniences to our lifestyles, it has also raised concerns for young children's safety online. If you are unaware of the dangers your child could face on the Internet here are a few steps you can take to educate yourself and keep your children safe online.

Get an Education

Educate yourself on some of the practices that cyber predators use to prey on young people online. You can do this by taking the following steps:

  • Cyber Safety Classes: Enroll in a cyber safety seminar in your local area or online. Your local law enforcement should have information on cyber safety classes in your area.
  • Talk to Local Law Enforcement: Talk to your local law enforcement officials to learn about the techniques that predators use and educate yourself on how online predators operate.
  • Become Familiar with Applications: Become familiar with how social networking sites operate and some of the tools your child uses such as instant messaging, chat, and email.
  • Monitor Activity: You can use parental controls and software to monitor your child's activity on the Internet. Also, encourage them to be open with you about what they are doing and where they are going online.
  • Talk to Your Children: Talk to your children about how to surf the Internet safely. Encourage them to talk to you about their online experiences.
  • Private Information: Make sure your children understand that their information is not private when they post it online. Some children who are inexperienced with the Internet believe that only their friends can see the information they post.
  • Online Disguises: Make sure your children understand the power of anonymity that the Internet offers and anyone can pose as someone they are not.
  • Netiquette: Talk with your children about the proper etiquette online. Encourage your child to review their messages before they send them to prevent any possibility of miscommunication.
  • Cyberbullying: Make sure your child understands that bullying another person online can result in legal consequences. Explain to them how to resolve peer conflicts in alternative ways. The skills you teach will pay off in the real world as well.
  • Set Up Rules: Set up rules for how the household computer is to be used and take part in the guidelines that you set. If you participate in the rules, your child will most likely feel that they are equal when it comes to following the household rules.
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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser