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Child Internet Security & Safety

14% of children have arranged to meet a stranger through the Internet

Children explore the Internet with the same curiosity as they discover the rest of the world. Child internet security is important - if you are interested in what your children read or buy and the friends they make in the outside world, why don't you do the same with the Internet?

Virtual innocence?

1. 25 percent of five-year olds use the Internet.
2. In 2004 more children used the Internet than adults.
3. 44 percent of children have felt sexually harassed on the Internet.
4. 50% of children use the Internet alone.


Children accessing pages with
violent content: 38%


Children accessing pages with
racist/xenophobic content: 16%


Children entering chat sessions about sex: 26%

 



As most people know the internet can be an amazing resource and provide hours of fun for kids, but there is a side to the internet that can be worrying for any parent.


Web sites with explicit images are another problem that children may be exposed to, a few of these web sites have a warning on their homepage alerting the user to the fact that the site contains this sort of material, but unfortunately not all of them.


Another major worry for a parent is spam email containing explicit images, most of this type of spam gets sent from countries where any type of law is not easily enforced and therefore the culprits can go on sending, hopefully one day we will see the end of this type of marketing but unfortunately at the moment it is here to stay.


There are things that can be done to protect your children from this type of exposure on the internet, and below we will cover a few of these things.

Child Internet Security and Safety in Chat Rooms

Chat rooms have long been a favorite pass-time on the internet for kids, they can be great fun and they can make some great new friends online, the problem with chat rooms is they are generally anonymous so the person they are chatting to may not be who they say they are.


Chat rooms have been a main cause of concern for years, with adults posing as young children and chatting to unsuspecting kids, and in extreme cases trying to organize secret meetings with the child. Things are changing slowly and a lot of chat rooms are starting to monitor their sites more closely, but unfortunately not everyone is following suit.


Unless you supervise your children whenever they are in a chat room then controlling who they chat too can be a problem, although, there are some general guidelines that your children can follow to make their online chatting safer:


1. Stay anonymous, they should use a nickname while online, and never reveal their real name.
2. Never tell anyone where they live, not even if they have been chatting to the person for years.
3. Never tell anyone what school they go to.
4. Never give out phone numbers.
5. Never agree to meet someone without a parent present, and ensure the person they are going to meet knows a parent will be accompanying them.
6. Tell an adult if anything strange happens or anything is said to them that makes them feel uncomfortable.
7. Introduce yourself in the chat room to their online friends, especially if your child wants to meet them.

Although these guidelines may seem fairly obvious, by ensuring that your children follow them they can help remove some of the dangers.

Web sites with unsuitable images

This can be fairly simple to guard against, there is software available which can prevent your children from going to web sites with this sort of content (see Net Nanny below). Also when they are searching the internet another measure is for them to use the safe search facility available on most good search engines.

Spam email with explicit images

Spam email is one of the most annoying problems on the internet and with no real solution in sight it will remain a problem for some time to come.


A lot of email providers offer spam protection, but unfortunately most are not 100% reliable, one of the best defenses against this type of email is by using specialized software (see Spam Shield below) that restricts access to certain types of email, and by restricting any images that may be unsuitable for your child.

Child Internet safety, security and email filter software

There are a few programs out there that can help keep the internet a safe, usable resource for your children, as with most types of filters some work and some don't.


Below are specialized parental software products that we recommend (they actually do what they say they do) from well established internet security companies.


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DISCLAIMER: All monitoring products are intended for use on a computer that you own. In addition, if the person you
want to monitor is 18 or older, you must tell them they are being monitored to comply with law. Please check all laws before use.


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