Child Internet Safety
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 www.internetchildsafety.net. 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 MySpace.com 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