Your Kids and the Online Safety Checklist

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by Barbara J. Feldman on December 8, 2009

The Internet is a terrific invention that allows for hours upon hours of enjoyment for children. They can use the Internet to play games, research homework, get homework help, and talk to their friends online. But just because they can easily navigate the Internet doesn’t mean they know how to keep themselves safe. Just as any parent might have a safety checklist when they are baby-proofing their house before the baby first begins to crawl or walk, parents should talk to their children about an online safety checklist that they can go through to ensure their safety while they are enjoying their time online. There may be several different checklists to keep the kids safe depending upon the age of the children or what they are doing online.

Downloads

Parents should talk to their children about the safety checklist they should go through when they are downloading a program or pictures etc. from the Internet. If a child is downloading a program they should ask themselves a couple of questions. The first question they should ask themselves is, have I asked permission from my parents to download this program? Children may not always be able to tell if a program is legitimate or if it will introduce a virus or adware or spyware to the computer. It is important for the child to first ask permission before downloading a program. Two, do I really need this program? Maybe the program is safe, but it will take up memory on the computer and if the child does not really need the program, it would be better if they did not download it in the first place.

Personal information

There are several ways a crook may go about trying to get information to steal someone’s identity. They may try to get it through email, through a virus, or through a chat room, etc. Children need to be informed about what exactly personal information is and not to share it with anyone online. It might be helpful for parents to keep certain information private from their children, such as their bank account, Social Security number, or credit card numbers. They should also make sure that children know it isn’t always just important numbers that they should not give away. Children shouldn’t tell people their school or where they play soccer, or take ballet either.

When children are looking through their email they should make sure never to open an email from someone they do not know. This could introduce spyware, adware, or a virus to the computer. Hackers and sniffers who are out to steal someone’s identity will count on people not to change their passwords often enough as well. Parents should talk to their children about changing their passwords every three to six months to make it harder for hackers and sniffers to steal personal information.

When children get older they may begin to buy things online either using their credit card or their parents’ card. Parents should make sure that kids know the safe way to buy things online. An online safety checklist for making online purchases should include making sure that the website is legitimate, ensuring that the website is secure, and getting a receipt. Kids can make sure that the website is secure by looking at the URL. If the URL is https:// it is a secure site and will keep the credit card and other information entered on the site safe. If the URL is just http:// then the website is not secure.

Online predators

If a child does go to a chat room or has something such as a MySpace account that has an open profile, they may be contacted by people they may not know. This is a very important time for parents to have an online safety checklist in place for the children to follow. Children should never give out personal information to strangers, no matter how many times they have talked online and no matter how well they feel they know them or trust them.


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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Your Kids and the Online Safety Checklist." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 8 Dec. 2009. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/633/your-kids-and-the-online-safety-checklist/ >.