I don’t know if this is a rant or just venting or if this thought actually might help someone. But anyway, I was watching TV yesterday a.m. and noticed that they were giving a big presentation to a guy who had started some sort of class teaching parents how to protect their children (the girls interviewed were 8) when the kids were on the Internet. Well, if you are reading this you are on the net. And so are your kids.
Now I don’t want to make this too big a deal, but let’s talk for a minute: First, you (and your kids) can find all sorts of stuff on the web. Good, bad, indifferent, scary, dangerous, it all depends. So how do you protect yourself and your kids? Well, several things: First, my rules (when my girls were little) were simple: They used the computer in the kitchen, no personal information could be given out–no names, ages, address, phone numbers, even what state they were in. Second, no email or IM unless they had actually met the person face to face and knew who they were talking to. Third, *ANYTIME* they saw *ANYTHING* that made them feel funny they were to stop what they were doing IMMEDIATELY and get me or their mother so we could look at it.
We also took some more passive steps to protect everyone: all popups were blocked. And before anyone was allowed to go on the internet or IM anyone they had to turn on the machine and run a virus checker. (This last has now been upgraded to cover all malware.)
So far, these steps have worked pretty well to protect them. If anyone has other ideas, please let me know & I’ll post them here.