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Parental Control On The Internet

Thanks to the internet, implementing parental controls on your computer is more important than ever. Additionally, you must play an active role in educating your child about the internet and most importantly, how to use it safely.

One of the biggest threats to your child's online safety is the disturbing abundance of sexual predators. The F.B.I. recently estimated that well over one million pedophiles are online at any given time on any given day. This mean your child has one in four chances of being approached by a predator whether it's through a friendly community forum, a chat room or instant messenger. Even worse is the social networking phenomenon known as MySpace. Teens often create MySpace accounts and post photos and other personal information about themselves, making the probability of such contact much higher.

The days of leaving your kids at the computer with no concern are long gone. While this is a very serious matter, it isn't always easy for parents to handle these situations or know of which guidelines to set, especially when many children know more about internet computing than they do.

Guidelines

To help you practice parental control on the internet, we have put together seven easy to follow guidelines that should be employed by you and your children.

#1 - Always use a screen name when conducting online activities. They should never use a real name, give out a phone number or residential address.

#2 - Always report any suspicious emails that make them feel afraid or uncomfortable to a parent.

#3 - Never respond to a suspicious email or online message. Instead, children should save the message as a text file so their parents can take the appropriate action.

#4 - Never post or trade personal photos via email or over the web. Some may find this as a very difficult internet parental control to enforce. If your children do post photos, make sure it doesn't include any revealing text or background content that give an online predator an idea where they live or go to school.

#5 - Never agree to meet up with anyone they met in chat room or social networking site. This is a move that could place your child in serious jeopardy. Even a meeting with someone confirmed as another innocent child should be supervised by parents.

#6 - Never disclose account details to a stranger online. This could create a wide range of problems for both child and parent. It's not uncommon for shady characters to use this information and masquerade themselves as a child on the internet.

#7 - Never accept an invitation into a private chat session. The anonymity of the internet provides no way for your child to know who they're chatting with online. Their new friend just may be a 40 year old man purporting as 14 year old girl. An innocent chat in private could lead to sexual solicitation on or offline.

If you wish to pursue more stringent parental internet controls, let your child know they are not allowed to use the computer when you're not present or without permission. Furthermore, if your child has their own computer, consider moving it to a more public setting instead of their bedroom.

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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