Although October is almost gone, this month marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Many kids have their own computers, and hopefully, parents monitor their behavior on the computer as well as any other activities they participate in. There are online predators just waiting out there in cyberspace to prey on innocent children.
According to a Utah state press release: “Entertainment Software Association sponsored a pilot program called Web Wise Kids. Quoting the Attorney General of Utah, Mike Shurtleff: “kids enjoy the games and parents and educators love the games featured because they can save lives. Real actors in real storylines from actual crimes create a game that educates its players in Internet safety, as well as delivering riveting action.”
There are many programs that educate parents and their kids in Internet safety. ChildNet International, Kid Smart, and Know It All are just a few. The information is out there for all to take advantage of. Why not take a few minutes to read up on how to avoid possible dangers that are lurking?
Children need to be taught to maintain a high standard of personal safety and responsibility online. They can’t play it too safe!
A good idea is to have their computer in the kitchen, or somewhere else that provides the parents accessibility at any time; this lets your child know that you are interested in their safety at all times.
Remind your children:
- Never post their full name, school, home address, phone number, etc. online.
- Never post their picture.
- All the information they post will be there forever.
- Grownups that try to befriend kids on the Internet are losers; they have no life, so they go online, and should be avoided.
- If your child receives communication from a suspicious person, tell them to not be afraid to tell you. Then notify your local authorities. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Email only their real friends, not cyberspace ones!
Although computers are a wonderful tool for educational and entertainment purposes, it’s wise to let your kids know that they are fortunate to have a computer, but if they drift off into the wrong places, it could haunt them later when they are wanting to enter college, or get a job. We all need to remember to post only things we would want seen in public the same way we display them in person.