First, children may be exposed to inappropriate content including pornography, violence, and language. This may come in the form of pictures or text. Another source of trouble is harassment. Other young people or adults may send offending material, lots of junk mail or just be a nuisance.
There are some more serious problems that can occur. Children may be solicited online in regards to sex. This may occur in seemingly safe situations. For example, your son or daughter might enjoy playing chess online at one of many gaming web sites. In most of these games it is possible to type conversation while playing the game. This conversation may begin innocently and then proceed over a day or weeks into sexual topics.
Even more troubling are attempts of cyber stalking or stalking. This is when other children, teens, adults follow young people online or seek them out at their homes, schools, and so forth.
What are some general guidelines parents can teach children about Internet safety? 1)Don't give out personal information (Name, Address, Age, School, Birthday, Phone Number, etc.)
2)Choose a screen name that doesn't identify any personal information. Examples of bad screen names: saragirl15, tommyboy, girl-in-denver, babygirl12.
3)Don't share your password with anyone except your parents. Not even your best friend.
4)Do not respond to unwanted, mean, offensive or threatening e-mail, chat room dialogue, or instant messages.
5)Don't send pictures of yourself to someone you don't know.
6)NEVER agree to meet someone you met on the Internet.
7)Remember people online may or may NOT be who they say they are.
8)Promise to tell an adult if you ever feel uncomfortable while online.