Sunday January 17th 2021

Surfing the Web for YOU!

The Internet is a wonderful tool which puts the world and all its information at our fingertips. Much of this information has been available for a long time through public library access or other means. Indeed, many of these sites have been in operation for a number of years. However, this ease of access is paving the way for massive growth in Internet-based crime such as identity theft and pedophilia. However, most of these sites also provide an opt-out feature for you to remove or manage what information is available, though it may take some clicking around to locate it. The Clearinghouse has researched a number of them and provides a Protecting Your Personal Information: Opt Out procedures flier. If you are aware of sites not listed, please contact the KCSS Resource Center so we may add them to the list.

KCSS strongly recommends that you talk with your children about Internet safety. Perhaps the best way to ensure your child is using the Internet safely is by using it together. It is important that you teach your child the distinctions between the physical world and the virtual one. On the Internet, it's easy for a 30-year-old to impersonate a child and become a virtual "friend." In person, that's a lot more difficult. According to America OnLine and others, there are five things you should teach your children before they surf or chat on the Web.
  • Never give out any personal information, your name, address, phone number, age or school -- to strangers online.
  • Don't tell anyone your password either online or off, except your parents.
  • Never actually go to see anyone you meet online without one of your parents.
  • Don't email photos to strangers or accept anything from strangers online - photos, files, games, Web links.
  • If someone online says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, tell a trusted adult right away.

Common Sense Media provides help for kids to maximize the Internet's benefits -- while trying to  minimize the risks. There are articles on: Which privacy settings should you use? What are the ins and outs of parental controls? Tips on everything from the basics, such as smart usernames, to the big stuff, such as appropriate sharing.

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