Staying safe online

Kids are in the spotlight because they're spending more and more time online--at home, in schools and at the homes of friends. According to CIC, high school kids spend as much as 5.1 hours a day online when they're out of school, middle school children spend 4.9 hours daily and elementary school children spend 3.8 hours a day. Kids need to know the dangers of releasing personal information and

parents need to be responsible for their kids.

Internet security software often comes with 'parental controls' Parents are right to be cautious, but this should not prevent the family from taking full advantage of the fantastic opportunities the Internet can offer to children in terms of education, creativity and social connectedness.? Internet safety concepts and instruction on implementing the i-SAFE Internet Safety Program are included. It is only available to those registered as educators.

Parental control tools are provided by some Internet Service Providers or are available for purchase as separate software packages. These tools allow parents to restrict websites a child can view from their home computer, or the type of information they can share. Parental control software can help monitor children's use of the web but to date there has been no independent testing of these products to assess their effectiveness.

Children being are approached online by people they don't know at an alarming rate. The majority of them are under the age of 15. Children will see these as a fun way to extend their social lives, without possibly recognising the dangers inherent. Anyone can pretend to be anyone online - there are NO checks on this. Children learn from their parents and other adults including our leaders.