Children and teenagers get a lot of benefit from being online on the internet, but they can also be targets of crime and exploitation. Children and teenagers need parental supervision and common sense advice on how to be sure that their experiences in cyberspace are happy, healthy, and productive. While children and teenagers need a certain amount of privacy, the best safety strategy is parental involvement and supervision in their daily lives. Most online services and internet providers allow parents to limit their children's access to certain services and features such as adult oriented 'chat' and bulletin boards. Check for these when you first subscribe. The online world, like the rest of society, is made up of a wide array of people. Most are decent and respectful, but some may be rude, obnoxious, insulting, or even mean and exploitative. If you have cause for concern about your children's online activities, talk with them. Open communication with your children, getting online yourself, and staying in touch with what they're doing are the best ways to assure that your children are having positive online experiences. Contact a child safety program in your area for more information.
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