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First Steps for Parents
So...you have looked at our Best Practices for Parents, and you know that you need to take steps to keep your children safe online.
But where do you begin?
Secure Florida suggests that you start with the following steps:
• Know ALL of your child’s email accounts.
Remember that there are many websites that allow you to have free accounts, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, and Google.
• Know their chat and instant messaging clients (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Google, etc) and their screen names.
These may be the same as their email screennames, or they may not; make sure you know.
Find out what sort of personal information or images your child might be posting. Also, see if they have personal information or images of their friends; their friends' parents would probably like to know about it, too.
• Check your children’s Internet history.
If you don't know how to do this, check with some of the links below; they have software to help you.
• Install filtering/monitoring software.
The websites listed below are good places to start looking. Remember, too, that searching at www.google.com will give you even more resources.
www.missingkids.com National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Kids.getnetwise.org Get Net Wise
www.ikeepsafe.org/parents I Keep Safe
www.netsmartzkids.org Net Smartz Kids
www.safekids.com Safe Kids
www.chatdanger.com How to Keep Safe While Chatting Online
www.wiredsafety.org Wired Safety
report.cybertip.org The reporting mechanism for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children