Although the internet is a great resource, if not used correctly and carefully, it could be a potential danger for children.
Within the past years, Instant Messaging, Myspace, Facebook, email, and blogs have become increasingly popular with kids. Now a days, almost every child has a myspace, because it is considered a necessity for popularity in schools.Although kids say that the internet helps them connect with their friends, it also solicits their personal information. Most kids post personal photos, full name, school, and phone numbers on the interenet (myspace, facebook etc.), and sometimes forget to realize that if not set to private, its available for anyone to see.
Yet, even unsupervised research on the internet can be dangerous. Sometimes, innocent searches on google can result in sexually explicit pop-ups.
So, what can a parent do to protect their child from possible danger?
a.) Keep the computer in a public place.
If the computer is out in the open, you could keep an eye on what your child is doing online.
b.) Get your child’s password to their email.
Every once in a while, randomly check their email. Do not let them have multiple email accounts, and let them know why you need their password.
c.) Know who your child is talking to online.
When your child is online and instant messaging, ask them who they are talking to.
d.) Make sure your child knows what is illegal.
Bootlegging, hacking, sharing music files, and for children, making online purchases is illegal.
e.) Install a parental control or pop-up blocker.
The blocker will reduce your risk of getting spam and viruses on your computer, while the parental control will allow you to control what your child can and can’t see on the internet.
f.) Spend time with your child online.
Have them show you their favorite and bookmarked sites. This will help you become more aware of what your child exactly does online.
g.) Educate them.
Tell them that if a stranger tries to contact them, they should let you know immediately. Let them know that what they read online, whether on myspace or in an instant message, may or may not be true.
To read some parental guides to the internet:
To get spyware or other computer programs ensuring internet safety, visit:
To teach kids about online safety, visit:
Need help understanding internet lingo? Here’s a glossary of popular instant message vocabulary.
pos = parent over shoulder
jk = just kidding
w/e = whatever
k = okay
lol = laugh out loud
omg = oh my gosh
idk = I don’t know
b/c = because
ily = I love you
w/o = without
brb = be right back
bbl = be back later
ttyl = talk to you later
Story composed from information given by Captain Joe L. Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau.