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Pornography and Predators: Basic Facts/ Legal Issues
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How can I Protect My Child?

Understanding Maturity and Vulnerability
Setting Rules for Internet Use
Filtering and Monitoring: Tools for Safety
Tools for Safety
Something Happened! Now What?
Reporting an Incident
Schools, Libraries, and the Community

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You might feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to protect your kids from something as big, and perhaps unfamiliar, as the Internet. But there are real—and manageable—steps you can take to help your children stay safe.

This section offers parents background information on topics involving Internet guidance and safety—from understanding the maturity level of a child to tips on screening and monitoring content to dealing with an incident of exposure to pornography or predation. You’ll also learn how schools, libraries, and other community groups might help contribute to children’s Internet safety.

Although there’s no single answer and certainly no quick-fix solution, there’s one critical element in the protection game: the presence of a responsible parent or adult. In their Internet use, as in all areas of life, children need adults to guide them and to intervene when necessary. Even if you can’t always be there to supervise your children’s online activities, you can still teach them how to use the Internet wisely when they’re on their own.

Keep in Mind That Your Efforts Are Likely to Be More Successful If You:

  • Maintain an open dialogue with your child.
  • Don’t play the blame game, but instead encourage open, honest discussion about what a child has seen or done on the Web.
  • Respect children’s concerns or frustrations over your involvement in their surfing activities.
  • Balance your concerns about exposure to inappropriate or harmful things on the Internet against the benefits gained from exposure to positive things on the Internet.

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