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Child Safety Online
In today’s modern world, it is difficult for parents to ensure that their children can safely engage in online activity. The daily news is rife with reports of internet predators. Underage internet users are often unaware of the malicious intent of online acquaintances or sites with which they interact.
The Internet is an excellent information source available at all hours, day and night. It is also a place where younger people find the opportunity to socialize, interact with others who have similar interests, and feel they find understanding and acceptance.
There is also a downside to the Internet. It can increase children's exposure to people with nefarious stellar intentions. Most of us have heard stories about identity theft, hacking, and children who fall victim to someone who stalked them via chat rooms or other online sites.
What can parents do to help protect their children?
Parents can ensure that the home computer provides safeguards.
Away from Home
Parents should also be aware that the home computer is not the only way for their children to access the Internet. They can also use the unmonitored computer at a friend’s house, their school, the public library, a club or even a coffee house. In addition, there are game consoles that have the ability to connect to the Internet, along with handheld devices such as mobile phones. For these reasons, it is very important to conduct open communication with your child in order to form a good foundation for those times when you cannot be with them.
Visit Teen Safety on the Information Highway at http://www.safeteens.com/ or call toll free to order a hard copy of the brochure at 800.843.5678. This site and publication are sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com; www.netsmartz.org). They also have a CyberTipline at http://cybertipline.com/.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends the following sites (listed in alphabetical order) that contain tips and information from the federal government and the technology industry:
GetNetWise — www.getnetwise.org
GetNetWise is a public service sponsored by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences. The GetNetWise coalition wants Internet users to be just "one click away" from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family's use of the Internet.
Internet Keep Safe Coalition — www.iKeepSafe.org
iKeepSafe.org, home of Faux Paw the Techno Cat, is a coalition of 49 governors/first spouses, law enforcement, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other associations dedicated to helping parents, educators, and caregivers by providing tools and guidelines to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology. The organization's vision is to see generations of children worldwide grow up safely using technology and the Internet.
i-SAFE — www.i-safe.org
Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE incorporates classroom curriculum with dynamic community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the Internet a safer place. Join them today in the fight to safeguard children's online experience.
National Crime Prevention Council — www.ncpc.org
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to enable people to create safer and more caring communities by addressing the causes of crime and violence and reducing the opportunities for crime to occur. NCPC addresses Internet Safety with kids and parents through public service advertising under the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign — symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his "Take A Bite Out Of Crime®."
National Cyber Security Alliance — www.staysafeonline.org
NCSA is a non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to empower home users, small businesses, and schools, colleges, and universities to stay safe online. A public-private partnership, NCSA members include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, and many private-sector corporations and organizations.
Wired Safety — www.wiredsafety.org
WiredSafety.org is an Internet safety and help group. Comprised of unpaid volunteers around the world, WiredSafety.org provides education, assistance, and awareness on all aspects of cybercrime and abuse, privacy, security, and responsible technology use. It is also the parent group of Teenangels.org, FBI-trained teens and preteens who promote Internet safety.
These helpful tips provided by Digital Defense, Inc., a computer security company working with your credit union as a responsible member of the community to help insure the privacy and security of our nation's financial information.