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Internet/ TV Safety

ABCom takes Internet Safety very seriously, and promotes safe and responsible use of online technologies, especially by children and teenagers.
 

Advice to Parents:

  1. Learn everything you can about computers, the Internet and related technology
    • Develop and maintain proficiency through use.
    • Ask children to demonstrate.
  2. Communicate with your children
    • Take time to discuss concerns; agree on ground rules.
    • Understand their needs.
    • Set reasonable expectations.
  3. Place the computer in a “well-trafficked” area, not a child’s bedroom or a secluded area
  4. Ensure that they do not divulge detailed personal information when completing “profiles” and minimize dissemination.
  5. Keep ALL accounts in your name
  6. Know your child’s password(s) and screen name(s).
    • Ensure that screen names do not provide information about his or her identity (e.g., Sara16.)
  7. Consider Use of Computer/Internet Management Software:
    • Age-based access levels – Allows for various levels of access for different family members.
    • Filtering and Blocking (incoming and outgoing.)
    • Time Restrictions
    • Activity Logs - Parents can view logs that list web sites visited, web sites blocked, chat sessions… Software can even capture screen shots and email messages to you if a rule is violated!
  8. Periodically review Internet bookmarks, history files, temporary Internet files and keyword searches. Also … what can it mean if history, keyword or temporary Internet files are cleared?
  9. Set Parental Controls
  10. Blogs, IM, Chatrooms, Email: What is reasonable?
    • Under 8 - Children shouldn’t be using IM, chat rooms or blogs - period. Email should be restricted to only approved senders.
    • 8-10 - If you add IM or chat, make sure only pre-approved senders can send to your child. No blogs!
    • 10-12 - Give them more privacy, as long as it is with people you trust. Block all but pre-approved senders. Still no blogs!
    • 13-15 - Respect their privacy even more. Give them more leeway regarding IM, e-mail, chat and blogs. But check and account for everyone, in real life, on their buddy lists. No friends of friends!
    • 16 and over - Parental involvement becomes difficult at best – if good judgment and communication have not been firmly established by now … all bets are off.
      • If they have earned your trust, give it to them.
      • If not, unplug the computer and take away their cell phones and interactive gaming devices.
  11. Warning signs. Elevate concern if your child:
    • Significantly increases on-line time.
    • Receives phone calls, email, mail or packages from someone you don't know.
    • Quickly exits IM, chat, email, websites and other activities when you are near.
    • Increases use of new slang words, inappropriate sexual knowledge, withdraws from family and friends.
    • Begins using new screen names, an online account belonging to someone else, etc
    • Is reluctant to discuss activities or your concerns.
  12. Teach Children to Remember the 4 R’s … :
    • Recognize techniques used by online predators to deceive their victims.
    • Refuse requests for personal information.
    • Respond assertively if you are ever in an uncomfortable situation while online. Exit the program, log off or turn off the computer…
    • Report, to a parent or other trusted adult, any suspicious or dangerous contact that makes you uncomfortable.

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