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Non-Technical Measures to Protect Kids Online
As technology continues to evolve, it is easy to feel left behind. Follow these nontechnical measures to help you become a cyber-savvy, virtual parent.
Rule 1 ►Establish an ongoing dialogue and keep lines of communication open
Teens whose parents have talked to them “a lot” about online safety are less likely to consider meeting face-to-face with someone they met on the Internet (12% vs. 20%).1
Rule 2 ►Supervise use of all Internet-enabled devices
Rule 3 ►Know your child’s online activities and friends
Almost 1 in 8 teens discovered that someone they were communicating with online was an adult pretending to be much younger.2
Rule 4 ►Regularly check the online communities your children use, such as social networking and gaming sites, to see what information they are posting
Rule 5 ►Supervise the photos and videos your kids post and send online
4% of all youth Internet users in 2005 said online solicitors asked them for nude or sexually explicit photographs of themselves.3
Rule 6 ►Discourage the use of webcams and mobile video devices
Rule 7 ►Teach your children how to protect personal information posted online and to follow the same rules with respect to the personal information of others
Teens whose parents have talked to them “a lot” about Internet safety are more concerned about the risks of sharing personal information online. For instance, 65% of teens whose parents have not talked to them about online safety post information about where they live compared to 48% of teens with more involved parents.6
Rule 8 ►Be sure your children use privacy settings
47% of teens have an Internet profile that is public and viewable by anyone.7
Rule 9 ►Instruct your children to avoid meeting face-to-face with someone they only know online or through their mobile device
16% of teens say they’ve considered meeting face-to-face with someone they’ve talked to only online, and 8% of teens say they have actually met in-person with someone from the Internet.8
Rule 10 ►Teach your children how to respond to cyberbullies
Overall, 19% of teens report they have been harassed or bullied online, and the incidence of online harassment is higher (23%) among 16- and 17-year-olds. Girls are more likely to be harassed or bullied than boys (21% vs. 17%).9
Rule 12 ►Teach your teens by words and example not to read or write texts or emails while driving
1 Cox Communications Teen Internet Safety Survey, Wave II, in Partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, March 2007.
2 Internet Safety: Realistic Strategies & Messages for Kids Taking More and More Risks Online. Polly Klass Foundation, 2006.
3 Wolak, Janis; Mitchell, Kimberly; Finkelhor, David: Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later. Alexandria, Virginia: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2006.
6 Cox Communications Teen Internet Safety Survey.
7 Willard, Nancy E. Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens. Jossey-Bass, 2007.
8 Cox Communications Teen Internet Safety Survey.
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