Do you know what your children are getting into on the Internet?
It is estimated well over one-half of Valley high school students can get on the Internet at home with unrestricted access.
In a seminar Thursday night at Montevideo Middle School, parents learned what is possible and how to prevent it.
It showed parents how easy it is for children to get to sites that contain pornography or violence, and how easy it is to meet people on the Web who turn out to be predators.
Joe Showker, a computer teacher in Rockingham County Schools, gave the seminar.
"The Internet is a lot like the interstate. You're driving down the road next to murderers, rapists, thieves, but you wouldn't stop at a rest area and invite them into your car. So why would you invite them into your home through your computer?," he said.
Tips for parents include:
- Using the Internet in a central area of your home
- Limiting time on the Internet
- Using parental controls from your provider
- Learning how to view where your computer has been
For information about the Internet safety seminar, call Montevideo Middle School at 289-3401.
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What Can You Do to Protect Your Kids?
- Parents need to stay in close touch with their kids as they explore the Internet.
- Teachers need to help students use the Internet appropriately and safely.
- Community groups, including libraries, after-school programs, and others should help educate the public about safe surfing.
- Kids and teens need to learn to take responsibility for their own behavior, with guidance from their families and communities.
Tips For Your Kids
- Do not give out information about yourself like your last name, your phone number, where you live, or where you go to school - without asking your parents first.
- If somebody says something to you, sends you something, or you see something that makes you uncomfortable, don't look around or explore; get your parents instead - they know what to do.
- Making plans to meet your Internet buddies in real life is usually a really bad idea, how people are in real life can be very different from how they are online. If you decide to do it anyway, have your Mom or Dad help make the plans and go with you.
- Do not open up e-mails, files, or Web pages that you get from people you do not really know or trust.
- Do not ever give out your password, except to responsible adults in your family.
- Do not ever do anything that could cost your family money unless your parents are there to help you do it.
Source: http://www.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/ (GetNetWise Online Safety Guidelines Web site)