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Cyber Safety for Kids
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It used to be called the "Golden Rule", the way to keep your kids safe while online. Putting the computer in a highly visible space in your home and your kids would be safe, right? Not anymore. Cell phones are no longer just phones. They are a lot "smarter" now! They are basically a computer that fits into your pocket.

With the capabilities of smart phones and tablets, and the availability of Wi-Fi at almost every restaurant your kids can connect just about anywhere. This can be problematic for parents who want to monitor their children and their online activities. There is a Canadian web page that is an excellent tool and teaching guide for parents to help build an online safety net for their children and assist them in communicating the dangers that they may encounter. www.thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca. Parents should talk to their children about safe use of the internet and the importance of passwords and never releasing personal information.

The Government and schools can only do so much to protect your children. The protection must continue with the parents at home. Here are some simple rules to follow:

  • Set privacy settings on social networking sites, search engines and online games.
  • Engage in online activities together
  • Know who your children are communicating with
  • Create a list of approved online websites
  • Know your child's password and online identity

Explain to your child about sending inappropriate photographs, once you send a picture online, you have no control over it. You cannot control the recipient's actions once he or she receives your photo. Pictures are never really completely removed from the internet. Creating, possessing and distributing sexually explicit images of someone under the age of 18 are illegal. Engaging in these activities can result in criminal charges. Remember, the internet is an educational tool that will play an important role in the rest of your child's life. Ensure they know how to use it safely.

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