Regulating Child's Internet Access

As educators and parents we want to create a safe and fun environment for our children online. The internet is an incredibly useful educational tool that opens a world of possibilities. However, there are many risks involved when our children are online. The Internet contains sites that are designed specifically for adults, which may expose children to inappropriate material while not imposing limitations on accessibility. The Toms River Regional School District's Technology Department utilizes a filtering software program on its networks to restrict inappropriate websites.

The following are some suggestions to help regulate your child's access on the Internet at home and minimize any potential risks.

  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the Internet if you are not familiar with it. Visit your local library, community center, school or newspaper for more information.
  • Be involved in your child's online experience. Be open with your children and educate them on the dangers of the Internet. Let them know they can talk to you no matter what. Spend time with your children on the computer and let them talk to you about their favorite sites. Get to know their "online friends". Know your child's usernames and passwords.

 Online Safety Tips to Share with Your Children

  • Never share personal information especially in chat rooms or bulletin boards such as home address, phone number, age, school name, passwords or financial information.
  • Never post or email photographs of yourself without parental consent.
  • Do not list your name or email address in any public directories.
  • Never agree to meet someone in person without parental consent. If a meeting is arranged after consent, make sure the first meeting is in a public place and you are accompanied by an adult. Remember that someone online might not be who they seem and may provide you with inaccurate, misleading and untrue information.
  • Never respond to inappropriate behavior or language. Do not accept emails, files or links from people you do not know. Forward any messages that are inappropriate to your Internet Service Provider.
  • Be aware of Cyber Bullying, a new phenomenon with the advances in technology. Cyber Bullies use e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, bulletin boards, chatrooms, profiles, photo and videophones, text messaging and Web sites to antagonize and intimidate others. Bullies can use the technology at any hour of the day to harass their victims.

Tips on dealing with an online bully:

  • Tell the bully to stop contacting you and then do not reply to any future messages, remarks or chats by the bully.
  • Contact an adult that you trust.
  • If possible, block the user.
  • Stay out of questionable chat rooms.
  • Keep copies of any emails or chats as evidence and forward to your Internet Service Provider.
  • Note the date, time and where you were on the internet when you received the message.
  • Log off the computer for at least 24 hours. If you feel like you are in physical danger, call your local police department.