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Troubleshooting

The biggest issue when letting your kids explore the Web is protecting them from inappropriate content, and from unwanted predators. These issues were addressed in depth in Chapter 7, but here’s a short reminder list of steps you can take to protect your children online:

  • Your kids should never give out their address, phone number, or other personal information online.

  • If the Web site requires registration (and some kids’ sites do), make sure your kids ask you to fill out the information; they should never give out their name or e-mail address without your permission.

  • Keep your kids’ online friends online; resist any attempts to set up face-to-face meetings with people they meet online.

  • Teach your children reasonable skepticism about the people they meet online; anyone (including an older predator) can claim to be a ten year-old kid in an online chat room.

  • Make it a rule—never, never download files from the Internet (or open files attached to an e-mail message) without parental supervision!

  • Don’t let your kids surf alone; make the Internet a family activity, especially for younger children.

  • Utilize filtering software or services to keep your kids away from inappropriate content; accessing the Web via America Online is also a good idea, because it contains excellent age-appropriate filtering.


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