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Copyright 2005 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Caution:  The Internet is not G Rated!

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

Please read this article before sending your child
on any unsupervised Internet search:

There are many websites that are inappropriate for youngsters (both in content and intent).  Before
you start your child on an Internet research project you need to do your own research on what "safe
surfing" means for children.  After you have familiarized yourself with the potential problem areas, you
can pass the information on to your child in age-appropriate terms they will understand.  

For starters, explain the idea of Internet "street smarts" to your child.   For example, let them know what
is and isn't safe to "click" on, be sure they know an advertisement when they see one, do not let them
enter "Chat Rooms" without your supervision, and do not let them fill out online "registration" forms
without your consent.  The Internet is a part of 21st Century life - give your child the tools and tips he
or she will need navigate it safely - with wisdom and confidence.  

Here are some articles with tips for "safe surfing":

"Web Surfing Safety:  5 FamilyFun strategies for keeping kids safe online" by Gregory Lauzon
of Family Fun Magazine

American Library Association has lists of "Child-friendly" search engines and other resources
for "safe surfing"

Yahooligans! -- Web Guide for Kids, articles on safe surfing

Here is a review of Internet filter software you can purchase and install on your computer -
Top Ten
Reviews: Internet Filter Software

These documents talk about the "reliability" of Internet resources and how to recognise
"quality" websites:

"Evaluating Internet Research Sources" by Robert Harris, Virtual Salt, November 17, 1997

"Evaluating Websites: PART of the Research Process" - by the Owens Library of Northwest
Missouri State University

Why parents need to worry

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Online Risks
Internet Safety News: Amy's Story
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People rely on Wikipedia,
and a lot of it is wrong.
But because there it is on the Internet,
they assume it's right.
Rumor gets printed as fact.
We may have lost
our critical facility as a nation.
-- Ben Mezrich