Safer Internet Day – Family safe online tips and resources.
Family Safe Online Summary in Numbers:
• 70% of parents talk to their children about online safety at least 2-3 times a year; 45% talk to their children least once a month.
• 74% of parents are connected to their children’s profiles on social networking sites.
• 71% of parents have taken at least one action to manage their children’s use of the Internet or cell phones. Parents are checking to see where children are searching online, setting time limits, setting parental controls on video sites, and using filters to limit where their children go on the Web.
Kudos to dads:
• 71% of dads (compared to 63% of moms) say they are taking at least one action to help manage their children’s online behavior, including having conversations about respecting the privacy of others and checking their children’s privacy settings.
• Fathers more often check to see what personal information can be easily found about their children by searching their names online.
• 53% of dads surveyed told us they plug their children’s names into a search engine at least 2-3 times per year (compared to 38% of moms), and 33% of dads told us they search at least once a month.
Parents at Google (Eric Schmidt, Vic Gundotra, Jacquelline Fuller, Alan Eustace and Jeff Huber) from Mountain View, California talking about their approach to helping keep their children safe online:
Video tips from Google parents
Watch videos of some of our parents at Google talking about how they manage their children’s safety online and read safety tips from Google.
General suggestions for how to help keep your family safe online (from Google.org).
- Keep computers in a central place. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your children’s activities.
- Know where your children go online. If you have young children, you might use the Internet with them. For older children you could talk about what kinds of sites they like to visit and what isn’t appropriate for your family. You can also check where your kids have been by looking at the history in your browser menu. Another option is to use filtering tools like Google SafeSearch.
- Teach Internet safety.It’s impossible to monitor your child’s online activity all the time. As they get older, they need to know how to use the Internet safely and responsibly when they’re on their own.
- Use privacy settings and sharing controls. Many sites that feature user-generated content, including YouTube, Blogger and social networking sites, have sharing controls that put users in charge of who sees personal blogs, photos, videos, and profiles. Using sharing controls is particularly important when you or your children share personal information such as names, addresses, or phone numbers, on public sites. Teach your children to respect the privacy of friends and family by not identifying people by name in public profiles and pictures.
Read more here: Watch videos from Google parents
Steps to help protect your children’s privacy and safety when they’re using the computer.
Decide where your child can and can’t go on the Internet
It’s a good idea to visit some sites for kids. Pay particular attention when sites collect personal information.
Read the privacy statement and, if you don’t agree with it, search a little, to find a similar site that doesn’t request personal information.
Block inappropriate content
One of the best defenses against inappropriate content is to block it before you see it. With Microsoft software there are a few different ways you can do this.
Windows Live Family Safety. This software helps you filter information based on each child’s age. You can also limit searches, block or allow certain websites, and monitor what your kids do online.
Xbox parental controls. Xbox includes parental controls that help you restrict your child’s ability to play inappropriate games and watch inappropriate DVD movies.
Increase your security and privacy
In addition to blocking inappropriate content, it’s a good idea to block sites and downloads that might be a risk to your security and privacy.
Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks:
Set limits on downloads. Free games, free music, animated toolbars, and other downloads can expose your computer to spyware or other unwanted software. Depending on the ages of your children, you can teach them not to download software from unknown sources on the Internet or ask your permission before they download anything. This can help to keep unwanted software off of your computer.
A child might accidentally infect your computer with spyware or other unwanted software. Some popular sites for kids might try to download programs without permission. To avoid this, monitor where your kids go online. For more information, see Step 3.
Use antivirus and antispyware software like Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft Security Essentials helps you detect, disable, or remove viruses, spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
Create different user accounts. Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP allow you to create multiple user accounts for your computer. Each user logs on with a unique profile and his or her own Desktop and My Documents folder. You can give yourself an Administrator account and give your children Limited User accounts. Administrator accounts have full control over the computer. Limited Users cannot change system settings or install new hardware or software, including most games, media players, and chat programs.
Adjust web browser security settings. You can help protect your child through your web browser. Internet Explorer helps you control your security and privacy preferences by allowing you to assign security levels to websites.
Tips for parents and children on how to stay safe online:
Monitor where your kids go online
It might not be possible to be present whenever your children are online. But it is possible to check later to see where your children have spent their time online.
By reviewing the History list in Internet Explorer, you can see all the places your children visited online. To view your Internet History, click the History button on the browser toolbar.
Remind kids not to talk to strangers online
Real-time chats, social networking, and instant messaging can be a great way for children to discuss their interests and build friendships. But the anonymity of the Internet can also put children at risk of falling victim to imposters and predators. To help minimize your children’s vulnerability, teach them to take precautions such as:
Use only a first name or nickname to identify themselves.
Never disclose a phone number or address.
Never send photographs of themselves.
Never agree to meet someone they met online without supervision.
To help protect your children from being contacted by strangers while instant messaging, configure your software to allow only approved contacts.
- Online Safety: Basics for Parents (webroot.com)
- A Parent’s Guide to Online Safety (webroot.com)
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