[thelist] Kids on the net

Neroli Endacott neroli at bigpond.net.au
Fri Aug 1 18:30:44 CDT 2003

I am a Foster Mum for many abused and damaged children. 
(My own 4 'children', all grown to responsible adults with children of
their own)
The internet can be a great educational tool or a place where young
innocent souls 
can be corrupted or worse!
Years ago I joined a group, Net Patrol - keeping young people safe on
the net.
I believe this group is still very active in USA.
(I am in Australia & a Police Officer & I tried to convince authorities
and schools 
to accept and active this group here to educate children, but sadly this
never eventuated)

I wont get on my "soap box" but my first suggestion is NEVER allow a
computer connected to 
the net to be placed in a child's bedroom.
Best place is in a family room or situated where the screen is 'on view'
by busy Mum's 
& Dads.

There are many programs now that can support safety on the net.
"Mail Washer" which can block spam emails.
Ensure passwords are implemented so the parents/adults are always aware
when your child/children access the net.
Passwords known ONLY by the adults.

If your child wants to go into chat rooms or utilise chat options eg:
ICQ insist they stay on "invisible" so they can only be seen by their
You can read History to make random checks all is safe and ok.

Put boundaries around Net use.
Educate your child/children making certain they KNOW NEVER to give out
their names, address or any personal details.
If they are asked about schools they go to make certain your child ASKS
YOU if it is ok to give this information out.
Many a child has been stalked or worse thinking they are not giving any
relevant details out because it is "only their school" details and they
can't be traced.
REALITY is they CAN and paedophiles and unscrupulous people have been
known to find children via this information.
Some of you may know of the policeman who went into a chat room where
children were sharing which school they attended. This Policeman sat
outside the school of one of the children, followed her home where he
approached the parents explaining how he could have easily been a child
molester or worse and how easy it was to find their child from the
information she readily gave out in a chat room.
Teach your children all people may not be whom they say they are and
some are extremely dangerous.

The net is a wondrous and exciting technology BUT as parents we need to
be always vigilant ensuring our children's safe usage.

For young children - a parent or older sibling should be in attendance
whilst they use the net.
For the older child - educate - have boundaries in place and still keep
a close watch on what sites they are visiting.

There are many really great sites for children - there are now many
applications available to keep them safe!

Good Luck
And safe surfing.
Kind thoughts


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