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Take steps to keep kids safe online

Published: Thursday, Dec. 13 2012 5:10 p.m. MST

"It's something I had not considered, and through this program I opened my eyes to such imminent danger when my children play online," she said.

Ray Child, director of public relations for Comcast, said that this program is part of the education of the use of the Internet that they announced when they launched the Internet Essentials program, which provides access to low-income families. The program offers qualifying homes with Internet access for $ 9.99 per month and a notebook for about $150.

"This is a commitment we have for the disadvantaged community, to educate both students and parents about the dangers of the Internet and the importance of not communicating with strangers nor revealing personal information," Child said.

For fun activities to help parents and children, as well as adolescents, learn about the proper use of the Internet and the social media, visit www.netsmartz.org.

Helpful tips for parents

      • Be cautious. Make sure your children know their friends when they are establishing their networking. Just because someone claims to play their same sports or listen to the same music, they are virtual and faceless and you can’t trust that they are what they say they are.
      • Go the extra mile. Knowing that the potential exposure to danger exists, keep an eye on your kids' profiles and be diligent about who they share their profiles with. For photo sharing sites like Flickr, check out the users who are marking their pictures as their favorites. If a stranger is marking all the pictures of your 7-year-old child as their favorite, it may be a cause for concern.
      • Report. If you think there is a reason to believe that an individual is a sexual predator, report it.
      • Educate. Parents who have children that surf the Web and frequent social networking sites should communicate openly. Educate your kids about how to use the Web safely. Make sure they understand the risks and that they can talk with you about suspicious or malicious activity they encounter.
      • Monitor. Install monitoring software to watch your kids' online behavior. In that way, you can monitor and record all activity on a given computer and keep an eye on your children.
      • Do whatever is necessary to keep your kids safe.
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