The Internet offers children many opportunities for learning, and personal growth. At the same time, parents are concerned about the risks their children face on-line. Parents need to educate themselves and their children about how to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
There are a number of websites offering help to educate and inform parents along with children about how to practice good, safe online behavior. When looking for a website to teach and provide information about on-line safety, you should consider what features and tools are offered.
Some of the helpful and useful qualifications to look for are what types of activities are offered, and at what age levels are these activities based on. The activities offered should not only be educational, but entertaining as well, creating a fun environment for children as they learn about Internet safety. There should also be an online safety guide for parents that is easy to comprehend and that provides information that is usable. Internet safety sites should also help children and parents to understand the importance of children never revealing personal information about themselves online without their parent’s permission. This includes personal information such as name, email address, home address, phone number etc. Internet safety websites should provide information about signs that a child might be at risk, what to do if your child is victimized online, tips to minimize the chances of a child being victimized, frequently asked questions pertaining to Internet safety, and definitions that may be helpful.
There are several Internet safety sites that provide and offer these benefits and features. This is five of the best Internet safety sites that meet these qualifications:
1. GetNetWise– This is a public service brought to you by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help families have a safe, educational, and entertaining online experience. This site offers a standard safety guide and parental tools, along with a much needed guide on how and where to report any trouble encountered on the Internet.
2. I-Safe– Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, this site is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting children’s online experiences. I-Safe offers a curriculum with dynamic community out reach to empower students, teachers, parents, and law enforcement to make the Internet a safe place for children to learn and explore the Internet. Safety information and knowledge is provided to students, parents, and teachers in a variety of ways.
3. CyberSmart– This site offers a curriculum designed for teachers and parents that is presented in an easy to use format. The content covers online safety practices to ensure children experience the Internet safely. CyberSmart also provides a learning environment that is relevant and practical for all educators, from teachers to administrators to other staff members. Also included for parents is safety tips and information on privacy issues.
4. NetSmartz– This is an educational resource for children of all ages, parents, and teachers on how to stay safer on the Internet. This site features age appropriate, interactive games and activities to entertain while they educate. This site also provides information to parents about children’s online safety and signs that their child might be at risk. Tips and frequently asked questions about Internet safety are also included.
5. SafetyEd International– Is a non profit organization that offers a huge amount of materials and resources aimed at helping children and their parents to enjoy the Internet safely. Information is provided in an easy, understandable format. This site also offers safety tips, and suggestions that are usable and helpful to parents and teachers. An online glossary of frequently used Internet terms is also provided.