Online Safety for Kids in the Digital Age
This is a major job for parents, but there are a lot of tools to make it easier. The important thing is that you are a presence in your child’s online life. Click here for an overview.
Here are some things to think about:
Library Electronic Resources:
- In the Library: Your kids are safe using electronic resources at the library. We have trained staff and good, strong filters, but no system is perfect. Things can still slip through. The library cards are issued according to age, so kids usually can’t get into stuff they are not supposed to get into. Databases, however, are supposed to be pre-filtered before we get them, and occasionally things slip past. Let us know if you see something that doesn’t look right. The good news is that, in the library, kids can’t hotlink out to inappropriate sites referred to in articles.
- At home: Many of the library’s databases are also available at home with your library card, and because the library’s filters are not on your home computers, kids may be able to link out to inappropriate sites referred to in an article in a database. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen. For this reason, parents should make sure you have a good filter on your home computer as well, or you should monitor your child’s use of the databases. If you do see an article that has pictures or sexual content inappropriate for children, please let us know so that we can review it and consider removing it from the database. Click here to learn more about filters.
Google & Other Browsers
- In the Library: Pornography, hacking tools, gambling, and other inappropriate sites are filtered from the library computers. Things can slip by. While we do have trained staff and strong filters, parents should remain aware of what their children are doing in the library and on computers.
- At Home: Your kids are more likely to use browsers and social media to find inappropriate content, but be aware that most kids use apps that bypass browsers. Be sure to get a strong filter, monitor the history, and talk to your kids about where they are going. If the history gets cleared out a lot, it could be a warning sign that your kids don’t want you to know what they are doing. Click here to learn more about managing your browser. Click here to learn about managing parental controls on your devices.
- In the Library: We re-set our computers after every user, so you don’t see what the previous user has been viewing. And they don’t know what you have been looking at.
- At Home: Have you ever noticed that if you look up something all of a sudden you start getting all sorts of ads about it? Look up “Disney World” and suddenly you start getting ads for Orlando airfare, trips to Disney World and all sorts of other related things. This is because “cookies” of information has been stored and shared about you. If inappropriate things start popping up, it might be innocent, but when it happens use it as an excuse to talk to your kids about what they are doing on the internet. That way they know you are watching and that you care. Click here for more information about Cookies.
More Ways to Keep Them Safe
For more things you should know about how to keep your children safe online, click here.
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