Protecting Children Online - Part II: Quick Tips

By Sarah Sorensen
April 19, 2010 | Comments: 1

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


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1 Comment

Young child with unrestricted unsupervised access to the open Internet pokes around and tries things out. Having a parental control software to block unwanted site is really necessary to prevent them from opening these sites.

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