PART I: BASIC INTERNET SAFETY RULES FOR THE FAMILY
By Safety Officer, Laurence J. Rotondi
This is part 1 of a 3 part series on children, families and safety on the internet. These precautions will apply to every member of your family, regardless of age and experience. Parents should discuss these dangers with their children.
The internet is an extraordinary resource that links our children to a world of information, experiences and ideas that might otherwise be unavailable to them. However, the Internet can also expose your children to numerous risks, and it is crucial to remember that when a child is online, his or her safety may also be on the line. Just as you have taught your child basic safety rules for the physical world, you should also teach your child basic safety rules for the virtual world. Here are a few basic rules to go by:
1. Place your child's computer in an area where you are best able to monitor his or her online activities.
2. Take an active interest in your child's online activities.
3. Warn your child never to reveal any identifying information such as: last name, ethnicity, age, address, phone number, school name, parents' names, parent' employers or work addresses. Caution your child that predators and con artist are expert at accumulating incremental amounts of personal data until thy eventually obtain enough information to locate a user.
4. Warn your child never to arrange an in-person meeting with someone met online.
5. Warn your child never to accept anything sent to him or her by a person met online.
6. Warn your child never to post online a photo of any family member. Explain that online images ma be altered or "morphed" and used on, for example pornographic sites.
7. Not everything posted online is true. You must always consider the source. Remember that online, as in real life, you must evaluate the reliability of a source in determining the accuracy of the information it provides. Just because you are reading it on your computer screen does not mean that it is true.
8. Don't accept everything that you read on the internet as true. Think about the source of the information when you evaluate its reliability.
Please review our other important information:
PART II: INTERNET SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUTHS
PART III: CHAT ROOMS AND THE WORLD WIDE NET
PART IV: TRACKING YOUR KIDS INTERNET ACTIVIITES
Remarks by Lisa J. Barstow, Massachusetts Family Institute