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Internet safe surfing: tips for parents

Tell your children not to give out any personal information (name, age, home address, telephone number, school name/hours). It could be used by potential paedophiles.

Monitor the sites your children visit and encourage them to share their interests with you.

Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child's bedroom. Sometimestryto enjoy the Internet with your children.

Do not allow your children to use your credit card without permission.

Check your children's online activity by viewing the history of your browser periodically which will tell you which sites your child has been visiting.

Help your children creating a profile requiring a login name (or nickname) as when visiting chat rooms or instant messaging applications.

Tell your children they should never arrange any in-person meeting with people they met online. Explain that online friends may not be who they say they are: they could be as dangerous as any stranger you can meet on the street.

Read your children's emails together with them, checking any enclosure.

Instruct your children not to respond to emails that are insulting, mean or vulgar and discourage them from using foul or inappropriate language.

At the same time encourage them to behave correctly.

Tell your children that it might be dangerous to fill in online forms, encouraging them to ask you for assistance.

Set the amount of time your children can spend online and, most of all, remember that computers should not be used as electronic baby-sitters.

There are programs, easily found online, which can block access to undesirable websites (with violent or pornographic content). For the most part, these "filters" are activated by keywords or by a list of specific sites to block. It is recommended that you keep the keywords secret and periodically check if they work correctly.


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