When your youngest is online

Internet can be fun. One can play online games, chat with friends, post and share pictures and stories on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace.net. But when the youngest Internet users go online, there are some underlying threats you should think about. Read what you as a parent should be aware of.

As parent you should be aware of:

- Your child might be exposed to inappropriate images or content that contains violence, racial hatred, propaganda and pornography.
- Sexual predators, which can befriend your children in chat rooms and via social networking sites or email.
- Online bullying or harassment via instant messaging, social networking sites or online games.
- Unintentional disclosure of sensitive personal information.
- Download of files that contain malicious software.
- Phishing email, scams and infected email attachments.

What you can do to help them to be safe:

- Be open and honest with your kids and teens about the dangers on the internet. Advice against using nicknames that can suggest user’s age and gender.
- Teach your kids to be extremely cautious when downloading files sent by friends and especially unknown senders.
- Unfortunately, kids rarely confine in their parents about the abuse, so try to detect early signs, such as anxiety when picking up the phone or going online.
- Stress that kids should talk to you about any form of bullying they endure. Report incidents to the service provider or website host.
- Tell your kids never to disclose personal information to strangers, or even friends via instant messaging services.
- Download parental control software, which you can set to prevent your kids going on specified websites, control their msn-contacts and much more.
- Set limit to time your kids spend online.