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Tips on How to Keep Your Children Safe Online

Although the Internet has brought a lot of conveniences to our lifestyles, it has also raised concerns for young children's safety online. If you are unaware of the dangers your child could face on the Internet here are a few steps you can take to educate yourself and keep your children safe online.

Get an Education

Educate yourself on some of the practices that cyber predators use to prey on young people online. You can do this by taking the following steps:

  • Cyber Safety Classes: Enroll in a cyber safety seminar in your local area or online. Your local law enforcement should have information on cyber safety classes in your area.
  • Talk to Local Law Enforcement: Talk to your local law enforcement officials to learn about the techniques that predators use and educate yourself on how online predators operate.
  • Become Familiar with Applications: Become familiar with how social networking sites operate and some of the tools your child uses such as instant messaging, chat, and email.
  • Monitor Activity: You can use parental controls and software to monitor your child's activity on the Internet. Also, encourage them to be open with you about what they are doing and where they are going online.
  • Talk to Your Children: Talk to your children about how to surf the Internet safely. Encourage them to talk to you about their online experiences.
  • Private Information: Make sure your children understand that their information is not private when they post it online. Some children who are inexperienced with the Internet believe that only their friends can see the information they post.
  • Online Disguises: Make sure your children understand the power of anonymity that the Internet offers and anyone can pose as someone they are not.
  • Netiquette: Talk with your children about the proper etiquette online. Encourage your child to review their messages before they send them to prevent any possibility of miscommunication.
  • Cyberbullying: Make sure your child understands that bullying another person online can result in legal consequences. Explain to them how to resolve peer conflicts in alternative ways. The skills you teach will pay off in the real world as well.
  • Set Up Rules: Set up rules for how the household computer is to be used and take part in the guidelines that you set. If you participate in the rules, your child will most likely feel that they are equal when it comes to following the household rules.
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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.