Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Parental Software Controlling Opus


The Real Dangers to Kids Online and How to Avoid Them

Did you know

* 1 out of 5 kids has been sexually solicited online
* 1 out of 4 kids has been sent a picture of naked people or people having sex online
* that May 21, 2002 there was the first death of a child linked directly to an Internet Predator?

Parents' biggest concern about the Internet used to be pornography, but there is definitely a greater fear today.

You have probably taught your child not to talk to strangers, and in many situations, they would remember this. But the Internet is different.

Due to the Internet's anonymity, strangers are talking to children all the time. They try to gain the child's trust by having friendly conversation at first, but over time, their true objective of sexually soliciting the child becomes evident. Children and parents alike are unaware of this, yet this is exactly what is going on via the Internet.

What can today's parent do? Armed with information, there's quite a bit a parent can do.

Software4Parents.com's Top 5 Internet Safety Tips

1. Tell your child to NEVER EVER reveal their name, address, phone number or any other personal information to ANYONE online. Once you give out this information, it is impossible to retract.

2. Communicate regularly (not just once) with your child about WHAT they do online and WHO they talk to online. If you have actually met the friends they are talking to in person, you'll know it is OK for them to chat with them online.

3. Take computers out of kids' rooms and put them into public areas such as the family room. Many parents think they are helping with homework by giving the kids a computer, but it also opens certain dangers that you may be unaware of.

4. Choose your child's screen name, email address or instant message name wisely - don't' reveal ages, sex, hobbies, and CERTAINLY NOT suggestive or sexy names. Predators are more likely to pursue a child with the screen name "foxyteen15" than "happygirl5"

5. Use technology to help you protect your child. Monitoring software gives you the ability to review your child's Internet usage. Even if you don't look at each and every email or instant message they send, you'll have a good idea if they are making smart choices online.

The Internet can open many doors and provide useful information for children. An aware and informed parent can help keep children safe.

Author, Joshua Finer, Internet Safety expert and CEO of Software4Parents.com. For free information on choosing the right Internet safety product for your family visit http://www.software4parents.com/choosing.html.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous KenS said...

YES! Two very important tips: “Due to the Internet's anonymity, strangers are talking to children all the time.” And “Use technology to help you protect your child.”

We make PC Pandora monitoring software. I won’t make a sales pitch here but please check us out. Honestly, this isn’t just ‘hanging around town’ anymore or ‘riding bikes into town’, 13 year olds are given access to the world through the Internet, and thus the world is given access to them. Be smart and use smart tools to be a 21st century parent. Use monitoring software. Whether you chose us or not, it is the only way to be sure. You can’t afford not to.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Thomas F. Anglero said...

Great post! I just wanted to inform you that our kids use WiHood, a virtual PC service that provides all my kids with their own virtual PC online and filters their web pages while they surf.

We tried many different parental control programs but WiHood updates its filter every day. I like most parents can not keep up with the changes on the internet so WiHood does it for me.

I think all parents must communicate with there kids and use some online service. Be careful to not rely only on technology. NOTHING replaces the parent!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I can personally recommend a product called Spector Pro. It records everything that takes place on the computer; and I mean everything.

We were amazed to see all of our daughter's chats, emails, MySpace, FaceBook...you name it, if she did it online we were able to see. The program is completely hidden so you can decide if you want to inform the child of it or not.

The best part is it allowed us to correct some worrisome behavior before it got out of hand; and now I have the peace of mind that comes from knowing for certain what she is doing.

Just Google SpectorSoft or Spector Pro and check it out. My wife is a middle school teacher and recommends it to many of her studenst parents.

11:55 AM  

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