Children on the Internet
The Internet is a
wonderful and exciting place! Adults and children alike can learn
and explore topics and virtually visit places that previously
could have been accessed by books, television or films. Today,
with interactive technology, we can "surf the net" or
even visit places while events are happening.
also have access to chat rooms, pornography and other
"adult" related areas. As children grow older, this can
lead to them doing things that they normally would not have done
or been exposed to in the past. There have been instances where
children have left home to "meet" their new
cyber-friends, been approached by people who prey on children and
their trusting nature or allowed them to view material not suited
for their age group.
In belief of free
speech, PARENTS must be the ones to determine what their children
should or should not view, and with whom they should or should not
"chat" . We teach the "Stranger Danger"
program in our school and as times change, we also must change to
meet the potential hazards that our children face. The Internet,
like any other technological medium, has its place and purpose and
it is up to the parents and/or guardians of children to determine
what that is.
We as a Police
Department, recommend the following:
1. Always know where
your child is when they are surfing on the Internet.
2. If they are in
chat rooms, ALWAYS know who
your child is chatting with.
3. Explain to your
child that they are NEVER to
give out personal information such as their real names, addresses,
telephone numbers, e-mail addresses...
4. As with strangers
on the streets, if you or your child feel uncomfortable with what
is happening on the net, get away, DISCONNECT.
If you allow your
child to chat, watch your child chat. If the person that your
child is chatting with writes like an adult, chances are, they are
an adult. Check the person's spelling, word usage and
context. It is important to remember that adults can fake
spelling, usage, punctuation and context but one thing that is
almost unconscious is syntax - (the order and relationship of
words in a sentence).
There is a
consistency to syntax. When little kids are learning to write,
their writing sometimes sounds disjointed. For an adult to write
that way is very difficult. It's hard, but not impossible to fake
There are several
commercial "filters" or "blocks" that you can
download or purchase that may help keep your child from viewing
material that you find objectionable. These will help but not
completely prevent children from viewing unsuitable material.
As you know, parental
supervision is the key to children using the net.
Let's keep our kids
If you have any
questions or problems regarding the internet, please feel free to
contact us at the Police Department.