Sunday, July 5, 2009

Child Safety and Online Dangers

By Marion Jones

What is there to say about the world children live in these days? Sexed-up television, pornographic Internet sites and videos and violent board games. A world that is lowering its standards, values, and morals each day, surrounds our children.

What is even worse is that we cannot use Parental Controls any more to keep our children away from websites of an adult nature. Children nowadays are advanced in technology, and sometimes more so than their parents. How can we protect our children against online dangers? How can we as parents provide safety for our children, while battling the corruption going on worldwide?

Parental Controls are available on most types of Internet software, yet today, children are skilled at by-passing these Parental Controls. So, what can we do? We can guard our children by monitoring their time spent on the Internet closely.

How to use parental controls: It depends on which Internet provider you have, however, I will speak only of the Internet providers I am aware of, since not all programs are the same. To use AOL Parental Controls, you will need to go to Safety at the Toolbar and click on Parental Controls.

Once you arrive there, you will see a drop-down list of available usernames. Search for your child's username and click on the username. You will see a popup window appear. Click on 'Edit Web Control' and then click 'Kids Only', and close. Now your child is protected against Internet sites that hold potential dangers.

Chat rooms pose serious threats to children, since anyone can go into these rooms, and often predators frequent these areas, so as to draw children into a web of danger. In the AOL browser, click 'Safety' and then click 'Parental Controls'.

Next, following the same steps click on the 'Edit IM Controls', 'Edit E-mail Controls', and 'Edit Chat Control' and follow the same steps as you did to setup the 'Parental Controls'.

It is wise to set up passwords. Passwords will offer additional protection and safety for your child. Do not give your child the passwords, because this will give the child control over the Internet connection, and the child might even reset the controls.

It is also wise to activate your 'Popup Controllers' too, since if you do not turn on the controls, pop ups could carry a virus that could corrupt your computer or popup adult content, which your child will see if online. You can go into 'AOL Safety' at the toolbar to set these popup blockers.

If you use Internet Explorer; open a page. Click on 'Tools' at the top menu, then click 'Popup Blocker' and then click 'Popup Blocker Settings'. Read the information carefully and set the program at medium. Medium is standard and will block most pop ups. If you put the settings higher than medium you could find it difficult to open websites for browsing.

Some of the dangers posed to children online include: Internet Porn; Child Porn; Child Sexual Abuse; Mobile Porn; and more. As you can see, your child is at serious risk, and if you want to master safety, you have to monitor, and take the steps to safeguard your child against online dangers.

According to recent studies, students have met sexual malpractices through webcams, instant messengers, and mobile phones. Additional studies reveal that pornographic websites are making more profit than each of CBS, ABC, and NBC television channels each year. The studies claim that the largest group that views porn sites are children. These children are between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

The statistics showed that around 74% of all the porn sites had unmonitored banners, while another 66% of the websites did not give 'adult content' warnings. Moreover, another 11% of the sites did not have 'sexually explicit content' warnings and 25% boxed in their visitors by not letting them leave their websites. Only 3% of the websites out of more than 14 millions adult websites requested adult permission for minors to visit. So, protect your child now!

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