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Internet safety…

Your daughter is looking at pornographic images or is “chatting” with strangers.



She's still on the computer! Sh

e's up late, but at least she's studying.

Does your daughter have a computer in her bedroom with Internet access? Besides doing her homework, what else is she using it for? The Internet brings a world of uncensored information into your home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. About 4.2 million Internet sites and 372 million web pages have pornographic content and these sites are often accessed by links to innocent sounding words,such as“horse”or“Barbie”.The webcam on your daughter's computer can also be used to send intimate pictures, and this has become popular among some young people. Parents must take control of the computer and supervise its use. Talk to your daughter about what she's using the computer for. “I know you spend a lot of time on the computer, but I don't want it in your bedroom. The whole family can use it if it's in a

common room. We'll work out a schedule that will suit everybody's needs.”

The Internet offers your daughter unlimited access to information, whether she's researching a subject for school or for a leisure activity. It's possible that she can unintentionally end up on a pornographic site and if the computer is in her bedroom, it's more difficult for you to monitor what she's looking at. When the com- puter is in a common space and time limits are set for surfing the Net, there is less risk that your daughter will be confronted with pornographic images.

There are different ways to better supervise your fami- ly's computer and Internet use. You can establish clear

guidelines by installing a password and placing the computer connected to the Internet in a common area. Make sure that the other computers in your home are not connected to the Internet. This change may dis- please your daughter. Justify it by explaining that the computer belongs to all family members and that a schedule for its use will be set according to the needs of each member of the family. The new schedule will encourage your daughter to get involved in other activ- ities.In addition, if you have a web camera, its use needs to be well supervised. It is also possible to purchase software which will block almost all access to certain Internet sites. Although this kind of software is not 100% effective, it will prevent access to many inappro- priate websites.


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