If your child is not "online" already, he or she may soon be joining the millions of children who are using the Internet. Whether using the Internet at home or school, the online world offers children experiences that can be both educational and rewarding, but sometimes pose a risk. In an effort to help parents protect their children online, Better Business Bureau offers tips to avoid the most prevalent risks that children may encounter.
The Internet poses new challenges for parents and caregivers because, unlike television or radio, the Internet is interactive. Your child can interact with anyone online from home, school or elsewhere. The Internet allows any user, anywhere, to post information, including materials that are inaccurate, misleading and inappropriate for children. It also enables anyone to collect personal information from your child.
“As a parent, it can be difficult to closely supervise children as they roam across websites where danger might lurk,” said Jim Hegarty, president & CEO of your BBB. “However, children need to understand the rules and risks of cyberspace.”
Here is a list of the most prevalent risks that children may encounter online:
Parents should also review privacy protection rules with their children. Teach your children that they should never give out personal information (including their name, home address, telephone number, age, race, school name or location, or friends' names) or use a credit card online without your permission. Look into software or online services that filter out offensive materials and sites. Many Internet Service Providers and commercial online services offer site blocking, restrictions on incoming e-mail, and children's accounts that access specific services.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org.