Thursday, November 04, 1999

Tips for parents

        • Use the buddy system. Pull up a chair while your child surfs. Though time-consuming, it's the most effective way to be sure your child is sticking with sites that are age-appropriate.

        • Surf in a crowd. Move the computer to a family-centered area, where parental supervision is continuous.

        • Take a history lesson. Routinely check your browser's “history” feature to see addresses for Internet sites recently visited.

        • Cache in on your computer. If your kids are savvy enough to clear out the history function on the browser, you can search your hard drive for “cache” and get copies of recent pages your child has viewed.

        • Crack the code. Many Web sites and chat rooms have their own lingo and jargon. If you see your child typing random initials or numeric codes, ask what they mean.

        • Go server or go software. Invest in technology that prevents your child from surfing unsavory sites. Your best strategy is a server-based filtering system that cannot be foiled by even the most advanced junior programmer.

        • Talk about the tough stuff. Explain to your children why it's risky to give out personal information over the Internet.

        • Share and share alike. Keep one e-mail address for the whole family, or one for business and one for recreation, if you have a home office.

        • Set guidelines for giving info. Lay down ground rules for what's acceptable to share over the Internet and what's not.

        • Enlist an e-mail gatekeeper. Many e-mail systems will allow you to set up a list of addresses that you will accept mail from and will reject all other e-mail.

        Source: ClearViewNet, an Internet service provider

On guard, online
Filtering software varies - here's 4 of the best
Internet safety resource guides
Kids' rules for online safety
- Tips for parents

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