Teach Children About Privacy ...
Does your child visit online chat rooms? Do you know who they are talking to? Do you know what sort of information your child is passing on to others while in these online chat rooms?
If not, it’s time to get on board and find out what they have been doing. Child safety on the Internet should be of paramount concern for every parent. Once you know what is happening, you will have to teach your child about the safety issues in these internet chat rooms and how they should protect their privacy when using these facilities.
Online predators and pedophiles are common on the Internet and they often frequent those online chat rooms that are popular with children. Make your child aware of the dangers. These online predators often create and take on a persona of a younger person (child or teenager) in order to commit their crimes.
Internet safety laws have been implemented to help protect your children from among other things, identity thieves online. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires parental consent before a web site can collect any personal information from the child (e.g. SSN, name, address, etc). The web sites must also display their privacy policies on the site.
As a parent, you need to become involved in protecting your child from the dangers of online chat rooms. Here are some points to follow:
Many internet service providers, particularly those who provide high speed internet access, are helping their customers protect themselves by bundling virus protection, firewall and other protective programs including parental controls into their service. If you are in the market for a high speed internet solution, you may want to look into these bundled services.
1. Block all unsuitable material from your computer. Install an internet filter to stop your child from going to inappropriate sites, including private chat rooms. Be aware that posting messages in private chat rooms reveals their email address to all others in the conversation.
2. Keep the computer in a common area of the house. You can see what site they are on and who they are chatting with.
3. Spend some time on the internet with your child so they can learn correct behavior when in online chat rooms.
4. Have the same email account as your child. This way you can check their messages.
5. Check your credit card and phone bills for different account charges you may not have been aware of.
6. If your child reports an online incident that they are not comfortable with, listen to them and take them seriously.
7. If your child receives any threatening or obscene messages while online, forward these to your Internet service provider. Tell your children to Never respond to these messages.
8. Advise your child Never to post a photograph of themselves in a chat room and Never give out any personal information, no matter how well they think they know the person they are chatting with. Tell your child Never to arrange to meet with anyone they have ‘met’ in a chat room.
9. Set a time limit for ‘chatting online’. Make sure homework and chores do not get put aside for chat room time.
10. Privacy is not the only issue in online chat rooms, safety is paramount. Remind your child that personal information should Never be given out over the Internet. Make no exceptions to that rule.
If you have any concerns over your child’s safety and believe they may have been compromised by an incident in a chat room, report that activity to the police and your Internet service provider (ISP).