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Many parents find it helpful to write up an “internet use contract” spelling out what sites their children are allowed to visit, how long they are allowed to stay online, and what to do if someone they’re communicating with requests personal information or says something that makes them uncomfortable.Both parents and kids should sign this contract and agree on the consequences that will result if the rules are violated.In addition, you can restrict the chat rooms she visits to so-called “safe chats” that are monitored by adult hosts who work for the internet provider.
Bottom line: As parents, it’s our responsibility to protect our children from the many risks they face in today’s toxic culture.
But I'm still afraid of losing control over my child's interactions with her peers. According to a Congressional report, one out of five kids has been solicited online for sex, usually by someone they met in a chat room or through instant messaging.
The Kaiser Family Foundation tells us that 70 percent of teenage internet users have accidentally encountered pornography on the web, and that half of those kids said they were very upset by the experience.
It’s important to explain that you’re not implementing these changes out of a desire to “spy,” but rather to make sure that your child is protected from harmful influences or dangerous people.
If she complains that you’re “violating her privacy,” make it clear that you will do your best to respect her online conversations with friends, but point out that, as a minor living under your roof, her privacy is limited.
The company is also faced with a lawsuit seeking $10 million in damages that was filed by watchdog groups of internet portals on behalf of the parents and a 12-year-old victim of molestation.