NSCAMThe Internet is a part of everyone’s life on a daily basis. We use it at home, school, work and on the go. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October) is an important reminder for parents to keep tabs of where and when their kids surf online.

The knowledge and access the internet can provide is a great thing when used properly; but being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse.  AT&T is offering the following internet safety tips to help ensure that families continue to have the safest internet experience possible.

  • Understand your children’s computer habits. Evaluate when and how they are using the computer.
  • Research tools for monitoring children’s activities and conduct an assessment of how often your children are surfing the Web and chatting with friends via instant messenger services and e-mail.
  • Ask your children questions like how many kids do they know who have Facebook pages? How appealing do they find online gaming? What would they like to be doing online if they could?
  • Find out what parental controls are available and if there is a cost.  For example, free parental controls are included with AT&T Internet service and allow you to:
    • Create customized profiles for the entire family.
    • Block access to specific services such as e-mail, messenger chat groups, music and message boards
    • Provide permission slips that allow children to request access to unauthorized Web sites and parents get to be the judge
    • Use tamper controls that alert you if children attempt to change the settings
    • View your child’s online activities, including mail and Internet surfing history with report cards
    • Manage your setting with a master account that can activate parental controls on up to 10 sub-accounts
    • Set an online timer that limits the amount of time users can spend online
  • Place the computer in a “public” area of the house where children are less tempted to visit sites that are off-limits.
  • Teach your children to never share their name, address, phone number, school name or any information about their family while online.
  • Teach your children not to talk to strangers online. Kids should be just as suspicious of a stranger online as they are of strangers in public places.

Contributor: AT&T – Kelly Starling