Safe Surfing Tips

Online Lingo

What are your Children saying online.

If your kids use e-mail, chat rooms or I-M's you've likely seen them communicate in what may seems like a secret code of acronyms and symbols. It may seem innocent and for some it is, but there is also a sinister side of this "online lingo".

Here is a PDF file listing some of the more common Acronyms your children use in chat rooms.



Online Safety Basics

Here are some basics to keep in mind when the children are online.

1. Use the parental controls available on the commercial online services. These services screen public content and provide online hosts to monitor chat rooms. Check into filtering software to screen out adult sites on the Web.
2. Consider placing the computer in a "family room" in your home and make use of the Internet a family activity. Check the screen periodically and let your children know that you are interested in what they are learning online.
3. Ask your children where they go online, and have them show you. If your children are more familiar with the Internet than you are, let them teach you about it, you will both enjoy the lesson!
4. Monitor online time. Be aware of excessive hours on the Internet.
5. Make sure your children are aware of online rules. They should know never to give out their real name, address and/or telephone number, or agree to meet with someone person to person. Advise your children that some people on the Internet conceal their real age and identity. Create a list of online rules and post them by the computer.
6. Monitor your modem telephone bill. Adult Bulletin Board Systems are easy to access by any communications software. Check out any unfamiliar numbers on your bill.
7. Support and encourage your child's use of the Internet, and participate in new learning experiences. Acquaint yourself with their online pals and email habits. Be aware of correspondence with strangers. features great tips for parents, including links to resources all over the web dedicated to parental education and child protection.


Parent / Child Agreement

Review the following agreement with your children and post them by the computer as a reminder.

1. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
2. I will not give out my address, telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parent's permission.
3. I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
4. If I get a message that is mean, or makes me feel uncomfortable, I will not respond. It is not my fault if I get a message like that, and I will tell my parents if I do.
5. I will work with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and areas that I am allowed to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.

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