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Module 1: Computer Security and Privacy

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3.3 Guidelines for Protection from Online Predators

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Guidelines for Protection from Online Predators
* Lesson 3 - PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM SECURITY THREATS
3.3 - GUIDELINES FOR PROTECTION FROM ONLINE PREDATORS [1]
Guidelines for Protection from Online Predators

You and your family members can become the target of online predators.
These predators may try to establish contact with you or your family
members to exploit you financially. The predators may also try to involve
you and your family members in inappropriate relationships. The following
table lists some guidelines that you can follow to protect yourself and
your family from online predators. Scroll down to read each description.

Know the signs of predator behavior

Online predators have some predictable behaviors, which can help you
identify them easily. Online predators tend to get intimate very quickly.
They often express a great deal of interest and affection toward their
targets. You need to ensure that you and your family members can detect
such behavior to avoid contact with potential online predators.

Be cautious of offers from strangers online

Online predators usually lure their targets with gifts or other tempting
offers. You should be cautious about such gifts or offers. Also, educate
your family members to be suspicious about gifts offered over the Internet.

Educate your family on online safety measures

Educate your family members on appropriate chat room behavior to avoid
being targeted by online predators. Tell them to use nonsuggestive and
neutral screen names. The screen names must not give away their actual
name, age, gender, or contact information because this information can be
misused.Some Web sites try to extract information under the pretext of
feedback or surveys. Tell your family not to reveal any personal
information to these Web sites without your permission. Also, ensure that
your family does not give out any personal details, such as name, last
name, address, and phone number, in chat rooms and bulletin boards. Your
family members must not share their username and password with anyone,
including friends.

Guide children when they visit Web sites

As parents, restrict young children from visiting Web sites that are
inappropriate for them, or those Web sites that bring them in contact with
potential online predators. It is recommended that parents guide their
young children when the children visit any Web site.As a parent, instruct
your children to leave a Web site if it makes them uncomfortable or if the
site contains any unpleasant content. Also, educate your children to leave
a Web site that asks for excessive personal information.

Know the sites visited by children

It is important for parents to regularly check the type of Web sites
their children visit. You can track the previously visited Web sites by
viewing the browser history or by using software that help you track the
online activity of a computer.

Block access to inappropriate Web sites

You can enable your browser's Content Advisor feature to control the
type of Web sites that your family members can visit while browsing the
Internet. By using this feature, you can restrict children from visiting
Web sites that contain adult content. You can also install certain software
programs that help you block specific Web sites.

Monitor chat activities

Specialized software can monitor chat activities and flag inappropriate
information exchange on your computer. You can install these software to
track the chat activities of your children.



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