Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Internet, Cell Phones and Gaming - How to Keep Your Children Safe

With all the technology available to our children now and days, a frequent worry for many parents is how to keep their children safe from harm while using them. Below are a few great sites that discuss key items to teach your children when on the internet, cell phone or when using a gaming console. These sites also have safe games for young children and give tips to teens. All three of these sites have parent and/or family pledges/contracts on use of the internet or gaming, as well as tips for parents (and teens) on identifying if your child is being targeted by a bully or predator. Many of these sites also have newsletters, containing tips and latest news on such matters, that you can sign up to receive via email. On this site, in the D.A.R.E. activity center within the Parent's Resource Center, D.A.R.E. America and have teamed up to create 14 simple activities that teach important internet safety principles to children ages four to ten years of age. Included are some internet use checklists for children and families. Has a family contract for on-line safety and has a child safe search engine (which filters using Google's safesearch filter). Discusses many on-line and cell phone tips for teens. Has a Get Game Smart Pledge where, as a family, you can promise to talk about rules for video games, TV shows and the Web, and about making responsible choices for each. It also shows you how to set up the parental controls on Xbox, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Discusses how to prevent or spot sexting, cyber bullying and grooming, as well as tips for safe cell phone and chat room tips for teens. It also has social web tips for teens and their parents.

Do you know of any other really good sites? Do you have your own child or family contract? Please share your on-line, gaming and cell phone safety resources and practices.


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