Some tips for keeping children safe online:
-- Keep the computer in a family room so parents can monitor what happens online.
-- Be alert if children receive gifts or letters in the mail or unusual phone calls.
-- Keep kids out of chat rooms or monitor their chats. Know whom1/8 they talk to.
-- See what Web sites children create online. Review what information and pictures are being released. MySpace discourages posting any personally identifiable information.
-- Take a peek at the computer screen occasionally.
-- Review what files are on the computer. If computers are too confusing, ask a friend, relative or co-worker to help.
-- Let children know not to give out personal information such as phone numbers or addresses.
-- Explain that people may not be who they claim to be. Some adults pretend to be kids.
-- Encourage children to discuss their favorite Web sites and talk about what happens on the Internet, including people they meet.
-- Children should not spend too much time on the Internet, especially late at night.
-- Set time limits on surfing and restrict most computer use for specific purposes, such as school work.
-- Consider installing software that monitors Internet surfing.
Sources: WiredKids.org, MySpace.com, FBI
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)