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Fun Guides For Families On Safe Smart Uses Of The Internet


When I decided to look for websites for kids and parents to learn about using the Internet properly, I was surprised that most of the sites I found were old and out-of-date. Does everyone think that just because the Internet has been around for twenty years that everyone automatically knows about Internet safety, security, netiquette, searching, spam, viruses, copyright and more. 

Some of what kids should know about the Internet they might learn in school. However, the educational system is extremely slow to change, as is the curriculum. And where are parents going to learn?

Luckily I managed to find three wonderful up-to-date websites that are perfect for families to learn everything that they need to know about using the Internet and keeping safe on it.

Cybersmart
Cybersmart is the only one of these three websites that includes a section for young children. There are a variety of activities, games and pictures that teach young kids about Internet safety in a fun way.
Cybersmart also has different sections for kids 8-12 (tweens), teens and parents. 
  • Tweens get facts on cyberbullying and have fun learning to be cybersmart.
  • Teens - With teens, it gets serious. First, there is an important video that they need to watch, Tagged: What you do online could tag you for life. There are a few other videos and games, but it is mostly reading answers to hypothetical questions, such as How do I deal with Trolling or I need to know about online gaming. There is also a helpline for teens.
  • Parents - There is a complete guide to cybersafety for you.

Knowthenet
Knowthenet is geared mostly to parents. What I love about this website is that in addition to teaching you everything that you need to know, it also keeps you up-to-date with new developments. Which is why Knowthenet is great for parents that already are savvy Internet users also. 
Here are the many useful sections on Knowthenet:
  • Knowledge Centre - browse through this section for advice on almost every area of staying safe online, including safety and kids, social networks, shopping, banking, mobile, gaming and more!
  • News - All the news on the latest Internet issues.
  • Test Yourself - See how much you really know about the Internet. Try taking the tests, especially the first one, Social Age, which asks questions about social networks and kids. It might scare you a little.
  • Useful Contacts - Resources that deal with online issues, by category, such as disability,senior citizen, etc.
  • Jargon Buster - Look up any Internet related term that you do not know the meaning of. 
There is a wealth of information you will find on this website. Because you might not discover this on your own, you must see and share with your teens and tweens (if you have) this Manners Matter Infographic. It pretty much sums up the rules we all need to know.

Yahoo Safely
Yahoo Safely is all about sharing photos safely, setting kids' boundaries and setting smart online behavior. Yahoo's resources include safety tips and safety guides for both parents and teens. Some of the resources are within Yahoo and others are for some excellent websites not affiliated with Yahoo.

Yahoo Safely also has a very helpful FAQ page, with questions and answers for both parents and teens. And make sure not to miss the video section. The first video is on texting and driving, however the mom is doing the texting.

Whether you think your family needs to know more about the Internet and safety or not, please browse through at least one of these websites. There might be more that you don't know than you think.


source: about.com


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