10 ways to protect your kids online | News
Personal security expert Robert Siciliano, contributor to FraudAvengers.org, offered 10 terrific tips to protecting your children's privacy and safety while they're online:
* NARROW DOWN DEVICES. Limit how many devices they have. The more they have, the more vulnerable they are to a hacker or predator.
* RECOGNIZE PREDATORY BEHAVIOR. "Kids will be kids, but that doesn't mean it's OK to say mean things, send racy pictures, make rude requests or suggest illegal behavior," Siciliano said. "If it isn't OK in the physical world, it isn't OK on the Internet."
* USE PARENTAL CONTROLS. Research and use the parental controls installed in the devices, and, if necessary, invest in parental control software.
* DISCUSS RIGHT FROM WRONG. "Decide exactly what is and is not OK with regards to the kinds of web sites kids should visit," he said. "This dialogue helps parents and children develop a process for determining appropriate online behavior."
* CLAMP DOWN. Restrict your children's access to age-restricted chat rooms. Regulate not only how they use their web time, but also how long.
* TEACH THEM ANONYMITY. "Do not allow children to create user names that reveal their true identities or are provocative," he said.
* TEACH THEM DISCRETION. "Children should be reminded never to reveal passwords, addresses, phone numbers or other personal information."
* LIMIT THEIR EXPOSURE. "Kids should not be permitted to post inappropriate photos or photos that may reveal their identities."
* NO STRANGERS. Impress upon your children that under no circumstances shall they arrange a physical meeting with an unknown person they met online.
* NO ATTACHMENTS. Teach your children not to open attachments from unknown senders. Computer viruses often ride on attachments.