COLORADO SPRINGS — The Pueblo Police Department’s Special Victims Unit reminds adults responsible for children of important safety measures that ensure children are not victimized online.

PPD provides simple ways to provide safety online where children are often preyed upon.

While the internet is a great tool and provides several benefits, it is important that those responsible for kids, take the time to know and understand the risks and how to mitigate them, says PPD.

For parents, educators and other caring adults, safety rules and software tools to protect kids online should be implemented. PPD provides a pamphlet that teaches how to focus on the positives of Internet use while teaching kids of its dangers and how to make wise choices online.

Rules

  • Establish an ongoing dialogue and keep lines of communication open.
  • Supervise use of all Internet-enabled devices.
  • Know your child’s online activities and friends.
  • Regularly check the online communities your children use, such a social networking and gaming sites, to see what information they are posting.
  • Supervise the photos and videos your kids post and send online
  • Discourage the use of webcams and mobile video devices.
  • Teach your children how to protect personal information posted online and to follow the same rules with respect to the personal information of others.
  • Be sure your children use privacy settings.
  • Instruct your children to avoid meeting face to face with someone they only know online or through their mobile device.
  • Teach your children how to respond to cyberbullies.
  • Establish an agreement with your children about Intent use at home and outside of the home.

Tools

  • Set age-appropriate filters.
  • Consider using monitoring software, especially if you sense your child is at risk.
  • Periodically check your child’s online activity by viewing your browser’s history.
  • Set time limits and consider using time-limiting software.
  • Disallow access to chat rooms and only allow live audio chat with extreme caution.
  • Limit your child’s instant messaging (IM) contacts to a parent-approved buddy list.
  • Use safe search engines.
  • Set up the family’s cyber-security protections.
  • Utilize parental controls on your child’s mobile phone and other mobile devices.

Parental controls should be utilized on all Internet-enabled devices (desktops, laptops, and gaming mobile and music devices). However, these resources are not a substitute for parental supervision.

Report any content or activity that you suspect is illegal or criminal to local law enforcement and to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com or at 1-800-843-5678.