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Protect Your Child's Privacy Online
- Be aware of cyberspace threats! Learn about all risks children may face while surfing on the Internet and start educating them on how to protect themselves online.
- Talk to your children about dangers they can encounter as long as they are online. Do not be reluctant to subjects such as sexuality, pornography or pedophiles. Do not consider them taboo.
- Make sure your children know that not everything they read on the Internet is true and accurate. Make them aware that not all the people they meet online are trustworthy. Help your children develop their ability of sorting out the information they come into contact with while they are online.
- Place your computer in an area of your house where you can easily supervise your children's Internet activity.
- Monitor and restrict your children's access to the Internet while they are at home.
- Be aware that your children have access to the Internet not only at home, but also at school, libraries, where they are not under your guidance and supervision. Regularly ask them about their online friends and activities.
- Spend time online alongside your children in order to establish an atmosphere of confidence regarding computer usage and online activities.
- Ask your children not to respond to unsolicited emails from people they do not know.
- Advise your children not to give away their (parents', friends', etc,) personal information online.
- Advise your children to avoid face to face meetings with unknown persons they get acquainted with in chat rooms or IM.
- Check the browser history web page to see the websites visited by your children.
- Establish reasonable online rules and an agreement with your children about Internet usage at home or in other places (i.e. at a friend's house, at school, at the library, etc.). Print the rules and place them near the computer as a reminder. Monitor the compliance with the rules.
- Monitor the amount of time your children spend on the Internet, and the time when they are browsing it. Excessive time online, especially at night, may indicate a problem.
- Consider any change in your children's behavior (mention of adults you don't know, secretiveness, inappropriate sexual knowledge, sleeping problems, etc.).
- Chat rooms and Instant Messaging are sometimes the favorite playground of sexual predators. Do not allow your children to have an online profile. This will hinder their profile listing in directories and, consequently, the approach in chat rooms of pedophiles searching for easy preys.
- Decide whether to give consent or no to websites to collect personal information from your children. Yet, you may give your consent, but disagree to have it transmitted to third parties.Your consent isn't necessary if the website is collecting your children's email address simply to respond to a one-time request for information. To find out more about webmasters, please click here.
- Block instant/personal messages from people you and your children do not know. Regularly check your children's list of friends to ensure that it has not been altered.
- Watch out for Internet hoaxes, false virus warnings, chain letters disguised as charity fund raisers, pyramid schemes designed as legitimate employment opportunities, etc.
- Use filtering and monitoring software to restrict sensitive information "flowing" from your computer.
- Consider reporting any suspicious content or activity that may harm or has already harmed your children.