There are a number of steps you can take to protect your kids from online predators. Here are some of them:
Talk to your kids about sexual predators and explain about potential online dangers. Explain about the grooming process and warn them about some of the tactics an online predator may use.
Install parental control software. Surfie can identify and block harmful content in chats, forums and other internet communication tools (or just alert you about them, if you so choose). Don’t forget to inform your children that you have done this. Explain to them that that you are not spying on them - you are keeping them safe!!
Place the computer in a family room or somewhere visible (not in your child’s bedroom). But remember that your children have other means of accessing the Internet and communicating with potential predators. Pay attention to other computer and Internet-enabled mobile devices.
Most social networking sites require that users be age 13 and over. Make sure your kids follow these age restrictions.
Limit and monitor the amount of time your children spend on the Internet, and at what times of day. Too much time online, especially at night, may be a sign of a problem. Surfie can help you do this too! Click here to learn how.
Make sure you follow these rules of thumb for chat rooms:
Young children should not be allowed to use chat rooms at all.
Older kids should be directed to monitored kids' chat rooms.
Get to know the chat rooms your kids do visit and with whom they talk. Check to see the kind of conversations that take place. Chat rooms featuring subjects that attract children and teenagers, such as music, sports, or fashion, are prime targets of child sexual predators, who often disguise themselves as peers.
Instruct your kids to never leave the chat room's public area and engage in a one-on-one chat in a private area. These areas are unmonitored.
Younger kids should share a family e-mail address rather than have their own e-mail accounts.