Keeping Kids Safe Online - Issue #1 - Pornography

402408981_a01bdcdd46_m.jpg Note: This is an on going part of a look at six issues that we face in keeping our children and students safe online. We'll be looking at the issue, discussing some solutions and recommending some free and commercial software that can help protect the children you work with online.

As a parent, one of your many responsibilities is to monitor your child's media habits. The end goal should be a fully mature adult who can discern right from wrong with or without guidance. It's very important to lay down some ground rules, as technology has a great amount of potential to effect our lives positively or negatively. Here's a few areas to be concerned with, and how to help monitor or filter those areas.

The issue: Pornography

Steps need to be taken to protect children from both accidentally discovering pornography during innocent surfing, as well as those children who might be actively searching for it. It's quite easy to accidentally access a porn site during a search for a report or for an image during a google image search.

Solutions for parent concerns:

General Tips: - Place the computer in a family area. Children shouldn't have access to a computer in a private place. - Be sure to keep your password confidential and to turn off your own automatic logins. Children can run up quite a bill accidentally (or purposefully) after going to a site that you have left yourself logged into.

- Pornography - If you suspect your child is purposely searching for pornography, talk to them about the issue. It can be a difficult discussion, but it can save your child from a lifelong addiction. - Set up a filter that can protect your family from stumbling across undesired content. - Just know that no filter is perfect. Always, always, know what your kids are doing while surfing the web, because a filter never takes the place of a curious and caring parent.