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Internet Safety Tips

Be an active parent. Keep open lines of communications with children about Internet use. This process should begin as soon as a child gets online. Prepare your children for the online world as you do the real world. Make no mistake, the online wo...

Be an active parent. Keep open lines of communications with children about Internet use. This process should begin as soon as a child gets online.

Prepare your children for the online world as you do the real world. Make no mistake, the online world is real, and so are its dangers. Talk to your children about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. You tell your children not to jump into a stranger's car alone and why that's dangerous; tell them why they shouldn't travel the Internet Highway alone and why that is dangerous.

Watch Internet use. Internet predators are watching your children online. You need to be too. Keep computers in common areas, not in your child's bedroom

Use software resources. Use filters that block inappropriate websites or online services that are harmful to kids. Consider installing monitoring software, which records everything kids do online, from instant messaging to videos to picture trading.

Learn how to use it. From an early age, we teach our children how to use technology like computers and the Internet in school. As parents, you should familiarize yourself with this technology as well. With this knowledge, you will be in a better position to ensure your children's safety.

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It's not just the computer. Find out how your children are communicating and understand the technology. If you can't appropriately supervise use, don't allow it.

Report online exploitation: Call local law enforcement or the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force at (608) 266-1671.

Find out more. Visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "NetSmartz," www.netsmartz-411.org is geared to help parents; www.netsmartz.org includes information for parents, kids, educators, and law enforcement. We use these materials. You should too.

Visit us online. Visit http://www.doj.state.wi.us/dci/icac for more information. Like us on Facebook at WI ICAC Task Force and follow us on Twitter @WIICACTaskForce to receive current updates on the WI ICAC Task Force and other Internet safety information.

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