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Monday, April 9, 2007

Tips for Dealing with Online Pornography

There are many steps you can take to safeguard your children and teenagers from pornography on the Internet. First, your family should establish rules regarding Internet use. It can be helpful to create an online agreement.

It is also important to discuss the dangers of pornography with your children and teenagers. They should be warned about sexual predators and taught how to protect themselves from exploitation.

Safety Rules

In the Federal Bureau of Investigation's A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety, parents are recommended to teach their children the following safety rules:

  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you meet online.
  • Never upload pictures of yourself onto the Internet to people you don't personally know.
  • Never give out identifying information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number.
  • Never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images.
  • Never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing.
  • Whatever you are told online may or may not be true.
Protecting your Child or Teen from Internet Pornography and Victimization:
  • Talk to your child or teenager about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.
  • Spend time with your children online. Have them teach you about their favorite web sites and teach them about the responsible use of online resources.
  • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom.
  • Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software.
  • Monitor your child's use of chat rooms. Chat rooms are often prowled by sex offenders.
  • Maintain access to your child's online account and randomly check his/her e-mail. Be up front with your child about your access and the reasons why.
  • Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child's school, the public library, and at the homes of your child's friends.
  • Understand, even if your child or teen was a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and is the victim. The offender always bears the complete responsibility for his or her actions.
source : The Federal Bureau of Investigation's A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

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