PARENTS need to take responsibility for their children's online activity says Toowoomba District Crime Prevention Co-ordinator Scott McGrath.
Sergeant McGrath was the guest speaker at Telstra's Keeping Your Children Safe Online event on Monday night.
The special information evening gave an insight into what is happening in the digital world and gave parents a few tips on how they can protect their children online.
He said parents needed to take responsibility of what their children were exposed to on the Internet and to learn about it themselves.
"Don't be frightened of it (the internet)," he said.
"It certainly has a positive side to it with all the information available but it does have a negative side too, which is the bullying."
He urged parents to monitor their children's activity, especially if a wireless internet device was in the home.
"Make sure your computer is in a public place in the house," he said.
"Be mindful they can access the Internet on their mobile phones or computers in their rooms alone as well." Suggestions to help protect your child on the internet
- Having direct and open communication with your child, taking the time to sit down and discuss their internet use is the most important step to protecting them online.
- Be aware of the programs and files on your computer.
- Spend time exploring the internet with your children and let them teach you about their favourite web sites, including the social networking and instance messaging sites they use.
- Take them time to view your child's online profile and check for information that may be unsafe, including email addresses, information about their membership to particular websites, unacceptable photographs or any other information of concern.
- Keep the computer in a room the whole family accesses, not in your child's bedroom.
Remember the 5 R's
- Realize - Realize people you chat with may not be who they say they are.
- Refuse - Refuse requests for personal information and ensure your internet profile is private.
- Review - Review your contacts. It's not "kewl" to have contacts you don't know.
- Respond - Respond quickly if you ever feel uncomfortable online. Close the program, tell your parents or a trusted friend.
- Report - Report any suspicious or dangerous online contact to the police.