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Web Resources for Safer Surfing


[From Caught in the Web and One Child at Time by Julian Sher. Click here to find out more about these books]

The internet is like any other community: some neighbourhoods are safe for children, others are not. Most people are friendly, but some are dangerous.
You can't keep your child locked up in the house and off the streets forever and you can't keep your child off the web. All you can do is arm them with the skills and tools they will need to protect themselves. "You just have to give them the knowledge that they need to make their surfing experience safe," says the FBI's Emily Vacher who spends a lot of time meeting students and parents in schools. "No one piece of technology or trick or tool is going to do it. It has to be about communication between parents and the kids."

Communication that is frighteningly lacking. A survey by I-SAFE, a non-profit foundation in America, found a frightening discrepancy in how parents and children perceive their web activity. Sixty nine percent of parents said they knew a lot about what their kids do online, but 41 percent of children insisted they don't tell their parents about their web habits. A confident 87 percent of parents proudly said they had set firm rules for their children's online life - but 36 percent of children insisted they had no rules about web use. Indeed, 29 percent of children admitted their parents would not approve of their internet activities -- if they knew.

In August a Teen Summit on Internet Safety sponsored by NCMEC unveiled another survey that showed 30% of young people were considering an online encounter while 14% have already met in person with someone they met online.

The U.K.'s CEOP offers these top tips for parents:


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