The following suggestions are offered to protect your children from becoming a victim on the Internet
- Keep your computer in a family room, not in a bedroom, that way you can supervise its use and what is being accessed
- Understand how the Internet works
- Understand parenting controls on your internet browser and how to block websites and emails
- Ask your ISP about how special software programs can be used to help protect your child.
- Explain how internet dumping works
- Don't allow your child to submit personal information on-line without your permission or knowledge of why they are submitting it
- Explain what Agreements mean and the consequences of clicking on the “agree” button
- Try to interact with your child while they are on the Internet - expressing an interest can be both informative, reassuring and educational to both you and the child
- Encourage them to show you and tell you about anything that makes them uncomfortable when surfing the Internet
- Not everyone on the Internet is who he or she may seem. Changing your identity is an easy process and strangers on-line may be difficult to recognise.
- Familiarise yourself and talk to your child about who they contact on-line.
- Never allow your child to have an unsupervised meeting offline with anyone they meet on-line
- Educate your child on the dangers of opening mail, especially those with attachments
Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has also released a brochure containing safety tips for using Internet chat rooms. The ability to keep in touch with friends and make new ones is one of the main reasons children and young people go online. This is usually a fun and rewarding experience but, as in the real world, it's not without some risks.
"Chatting online is a great way for children to keep in touch with friends and to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, but they need to be aware a small number of people they encounter in chat rooms may not be who they say they are, and may have inappropriate reasons for contacting them," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman. (19 December 2002)
Taskforce Argos, a unit within the QPS dedicated to apprehending those who target children online, has introduced two programs - "Who's chatting to your kids?" and "Surf Safely" to ensure children are well protected while using the internet.
- The "Who's chatting to your kids?" program is targeted to parents, guardians and caregivers and can be found here: http://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/cscp/personalSafety/children/childProtection/
- The "Surf Safely" program is targeted towards children and can be found here: http://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/cscp/personalSafety/children/pages/surfsafely.aspx
Other brochures on other subjects are also available within this site.