Home Security – Protect Your Children Online

In the course of our daily life, we concern ourselves primarily with home security; enabling the security alarm, locking the door whenever we leave, etc. Nevertheless, there’s another menace out there that is creeping through our society. This menace is Cyberstalking, the exploiting of our children through the web.

In my professional role in the Home Security Industry, I preach the values of the internet, not just for us as adults and professionals, but also for our children. Our kids have pretty much immediate access to any type of information available throughout the world. Want to read A Tale Of Two Cities? It’s on the web. Have a question regarding who the third person to land on the moon was? It’s on the web. Nevertheless, want to be exposed to nudity, pedophiles, and thousands (if not millions) of other social deviants? You bet it’s on the internet and only a key touch away from your child or grandchild. So, what do we do concerning this?

First, we educate ourselves. Head to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children web site at www.ncmec.org and download their study “Online Victimization – A Report on the Nation’s Youth.” This report will provide an eye-opening look at the perils our children are under every time they access America Online, Compuserve, or the web via the local Internet Service Provider. It likewise gives a telling survey on how parents deal with their children’s use of the internet. For example, more than 85% of parents have spoken with their children regarding being careful speaking to strangers on the net, and 97% of those polled check every now and then on what is on their child’s computer screen. But, simply half the parents ever go back and really check history to ensure the child is indeed staying out of potential problem sites, and just 39% set a limit on the amount of time their child can be on the internet. Though it seems that parents do realize the potential exposure their children have on the internet, less than 1/2 play a truly diligent role in ensuring their child is protected.

Second, we educate others. Gather information from such sites as The National Center and tens of other child advocacy sites (such as www.pta.org), and talk to your fellow parents in your school system about the dangers exposed to our children on the web. Stay tuned for upcoming articles on ways to prevent your children from being exposed to unsuitable material. Bottom line: be involved with your child’s Internet experience. They currently have the world, literally, at their fingertips. Make the effort to have it at yours also. Part 2 explains the warning signs that your child is having a bad experience on-line.

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