Tips and programs for protecting kids online – an article

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Criss, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Criss

    Criss Guest

    Below is an interesting article about protecting kids online. Unlike
    other similar articles it is focused to the combination of internet
    filters usage with parental supervision.



    Tips and programs for protecting kids online.

    Kids are logging on to the Internet more than ever before, playing
    games, chatting with friends, and getting help with schoolwork. The
    Internet has opened up a whole new world for them. However, the online
    world, like the real world, is made up of a wide array of people. Most
    are decent and respectful, but some may be rude, obnoxious, insulting,
    or even mean and exploitative. Areas full of sex, violence, drugs, and
    other adult themes are another possible danger for them.
    But the fact that crimes are being committed online, however, is not a
    reason to avoid using these services. Children need parental
    supervision and common-sense advice on how to make their experiences
    with the Internet happy, healthy, and productive.

    In this article we will show you some necessary tips and essential
    tools and tell you how to put them together to make the Internet a
    safe place for your child.

    Internet Filters
    There are programs that are available to you called Internet Filtering
    programs, which will run in the background on your computer while your
    kids are surfing the Internet. These programs filter pornographic and
    other offensive content, monitor each surfer's online journeys, block
    access to certain web sites and newsgroups, keep kids out of the
    shadier chat rooms and log their online activities. There are about
    two-three dozen Internet Filtering programs on the market with
    different levels of features from a simple plug-in for Internet
    Explorer to server-based solutions for enterprises (employees need
    control too). Some of them are subscription based (Cyber Patrol) so
    you pay every year; others require a one time fee and include
    unlimited update subscriptions (Cyber Sitter, iProtectYou Pro). There
    are also two FREE, but yet very effective Internet Filters:
    iProtectYou Free and We-blocker.

    Combining the use of Internet Filters with as much supervision as
    possible is the best method of protecting your child online.

    Below you will find 11 online safety tips and directions how to apply
    them to iProtectYou Free. We choose iProtectYou because it is FREE and
    has good capabilities Visit the SoftForYou Web Site to download a free
    copy of this program or read the documentation of your favorite
    filtering program to find out how these tips can be applied to it.

    Tip #1 Put the computer in a visible place in the house
    Make sure the computer is in a visible place in the house. Ask
    questions. Walk by and check what is on the screen. If your child
    quickly closes the screen, this is a red flag and should be

    Tip #2 Spend time on the Internet with your children
    Go online with your children as often as possible and help them
    identify inappropriate communications. Give them a chance to show you
    what they have learned or the things they like. Send E-Greetings and
    Christmas cards to family and friends or participate in interactive
    games together. Ask your children to tell about their cyberspace
    friends, just as you would want to know their real-life friends.

    Tip #3 Schedule Internet use for your children
    Limit young grade-schoolers to 30-60 minutes a few times a week; older
    kids may need more frequent access for school projects. This will make
    them more responsible in using the Internet. Open iProtectYou Control
    Panel, click on the "Main" button on the left panel, then the
    "Timeline" button on the right panel. Fill in the "Permitted
    Time” list to determine the time interval when Internet access
    is allowable or fill in the “Blocked Time” list to set up
    the restricted time.

    Tip #4 Limit your children to only certain websites, newsgroups and
    chat rooms
    Sit down with your child and agree on types of websites your child may
    and may not visit, limit the use of Instant Messaging and chat rooms.
    Open iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Dictionaries" button on
    the left panel, then the "Web Sites" button on the right panel. Fill
    in the "Permitted Web Sites” list to restrict to only these few
    web sites or fill in the "Blocked Sites” list to block access to
    these certain web sites. News Groups can be adjusted with the same
    pattern. Now click on the "Main" button on the left panel of the
    iProtectYou window, then the "Applications" button on the right panel.
    Fill in the "Blocked Applications" list of the restricted programs
    that must not have Internet access.

    Tip #5 Never give out personal information
    Instruct your kids never to give out personal information (name,
    address, telephone number, password, credit card number, and so on) in
    chat rooms, email, or bulletin boards. Be aware that Web sites for
    children—even the most reputable ones—sometimes ask for
    e-mail and home addresses, telephone numbers, and parents’
    professions before allowing children to enter. Open iProtectYou
    Control Panel, click on the "Dictionaries" button on the left panel,
    then the “Inappropriate Words" button on the right panel. Add
    your private information, credit card number, for example, in the
    “Inappropriate Words" list to prevent them from being published
    in Internet.

    Tip #6 Use nicknames instead of real names
    A nickname—an online alias (like KingStar or
    PinkPanther)—is also vital to protecting privacy because it
    conceals a person’s real identity. Consider sharing the same
    nickname and e-mail address with your children under 14 so that you
    can closely monitor the instant and e-mail messages that come to them.

    Tip #7 Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with
    someone they met online.
    Instruct children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with another
    computer user without parental permission. Never allow them to get
    together with someone they "meet" online without first checking this
    “friend” out to the best of your ability. If a meeting is
    arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to
    accompany your child. Thus, someone indicating that "she" is a
    "12-year-old girl" could in reality be a 40-year-old man.

    Tip #8 Randomly check visited web sites log
    Viewing the log of visited web sites can give you enough information
    about your kid’s habits, interests and online friends. Normally
    you should do this only occasionally but if your child becomes
    secretive, then you should check more often. If you find that the
    history of sites visited is deleted in your Web Browser, this is a
    signal that something is going on and should be investigated.
    iProtectYou keeps its logs in encrypted, hidden files and it is
    impossible to delete these logs without knowing the administrator
    password. Open iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Log Files"
    button on the left panel, then the “Details" button on the right
    panel. Here you will find the detailed log of visited Web Sites and
    online activity of Internet programs on your computer.

    Tip #9 Teach children netiquette
    Good manners can protect kids, too. Words written are just as strong
    as words spoken. Tell children never to respond to messages or
    bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, or harassing.
    Ask them to be sensitive to others’ feelings when posting online
    messages and to avoid being rude, mean, sarcastic, or excessively
    argumentative. A comment that’s meant to be funny could seem
    insulting and make others mad. Visit message boards and chat rooms
    with your kids to point out comments that could be misinterpreted.

    Tip #10 Teach children be careful with e-mails from people they do not
    Instruct your child never to open emails, especially with attachments,
    from people they do not know. Most likely these emails contain a
    computer virus or they are mass mailing (spam) e-mails with
    inappropriate content.

    Tip #11 Set administrator password for your Filtering program
    Do not forget to set the administrator password in your filtering
    program to protect your settings from being changed by your smart kid.
    Without this, your filtering program makes no sense. Make sure you
    store your password in a safe place because if you forget your
    password you will lose access to your filtering program. Open
    iProtectYou Control Panel, click on the "Main" button on the left
    panel, then the “Settings" button on the right panel. Click on
    the “Change Password" button and enter your new password.

    Reporting Internet Abuse
    If you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child
    pornography while online, immediately report this to the National
    Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at

    The Internet is a great place for kids. By applying real-world
    parenting skills and remedies to the wired world, you can make the
    Internet a safe place for your child to learn and play. The more time
    you spend with your children, the more rewarding the whole experience
    of the Internet can be, and the more their safety is ensured.
    Remember, Internet use is a privilege that can be taken away if
    Criss, Aug 1, 2003
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