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Share some Internet advice with your kids

Nevada Appeal editorial board

We hope parents are aware by now of the potential risks lurking for their children on the Internet, but the reminder last week from Carson Middle School is worth repeating: Monitor what your child is doing, because forewarned is forearmed.

Like most everyday pursuits involving young people, the Internet is by and large a benign and informative place. Students these days have access to more knowledge at their fingertips than ever.

But it also gives the seamy element of society access to them, as well. And if adults can fall for Internet scams, which they do every day, then naive youngsters are especially vulnerable.

It’s worth sitting down with your children to review some guidelines for Internet and e-mail usage that will help protect them. Here are some from http://www.safekids.com:

n Don’t give out personal information, such as home address, school name or phone number. Don’t list your e-mail information or submit your photograph to newsgroups or web forums.

n Have your child show you how he or she logs on, what e-mail accounts he or she uses and get the names and passwords to those accounts.

n Never arrange to meet a stranger through Internet contact without parental permission. If a meeting is arranged, make sure it’s in a public place and a parent goes along.

n Never respond to suggestive, obscene or threatening messages. If the sender persists, report him.

n Don’t click on links sent in e-mail from people you don’t know.

n Remember, people may not be who they seem. And not everything you read is true.

n Use screening and filtering software available to parents, and set guidelines for the children’s computer use.

These are sensible guidelines for anybody. Don’t assume your child already knows them or follows them.