Child Internet Safety | Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Child Internet Safety

I know that there is a lot of information out there on Internet Safety, however, no amount of coverage is overkill if we prevent one child or teen from being exploited on the Internet. As parents and professionals from a different generation, we really do not understand the ease in which our children have access to strangers via the Internet, the vulnerability of youth, and the number of predators there are in cyberspace, just waiting to find a young person who can be manipulated or exploited.

I want to use this post today to send every parent and professional to an important web site and resource. I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Officer Steve DeWarns this week, who provides internet safety classes for parents, a program called "Kid Safety on the Internet" for 5th - 6th grade students, as well as information about online child exploitation at He can be reached at (707) 480-0327.

On his site you can find video clips, news articles, samples of acceptable use policies for schools and Internet agreements for families, safety pledges for students of different ages, instructions for setting accounts to private, and links to places to learn about and purchase parental control software, as well as resources for parents whose children have been exploited on the Internet. His web site also includes some of the Media Safety Guide from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and a link to one of my favorite sites Common Sense Media which includes tons of helpful information as well as great reviews of the movies currently in theaters - from both parents and youth.

One of my favorite handouts on this site is a six-page Online lingo guide including the these three frequently used abbreviations:

121 one to one
AFK away from keyboard
ASL age, sex, location

Please review Internet Safety rules with your kids, ask them to take you on a tour of MySpace, a chat room, and if you do not understand how much they are using the Internet, learn how to check the computer's history. Talk to your kids, take a class, do whatever you can to keep them safe!

Photo credit: Erik

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.