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Kids & Computers

Millions of people are now connecting their personal computers to telephone lines so they can go "on-line." Traditionally, on-line Internet Service Providers (ISP) have been oriented toward adults, but that is quickly changing. Children are also gaining access to the Internet at home and at school.

 
Thousands of children across the United States and the world received home computers for Christmas. As these children go "on-line," for the first time few of them realize the hazards existing on the information super highway.

 
While children, teens and adults can benefit greatly from being on-line, they also can be the targets of crime and exploitation in this new and unfamiliar environment.

 
Teenagers are particularly at risk because they are more likely to participate in on-line chat rooms and on-line discussions regarding companionship.

 
It is important that parents take the responsibility for their children's on-line computer use. The proper parental oversight can greatly minimize any potential risks.

 
Here are some guidelines for your family to use while on-line:
  1. Never give out identifying information such as your home address, school name or telephone number, etc. Example, in a public message, such as a chat room or bulletin boards.
  2. Never allow your child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission and supervision. Any such meeting should be held in public places only.
  3. Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene or threatening or to good to be true. Make sure your children tell you if they encounter such massages and forward a copy of the message to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their assistance. You may also contact the Police Department with anything that you consider strange and unusual.
  4. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children. Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a safety reminder.
  5. Keep track of the amount of time your children spend on the computer. A child or teenager's excessive use of on-line services or bulletin boards, especially late at night, may just be a clue that there is a potential problem.
  6. Notify the Bogalusa Police Department as soon as possible whenever you feel a something is just not right.