wicked4kids is rated safe by these organisations, and is committed to a safer internet for children.
By taking the time to surf the 'net and look at the sites for children, you are taking the first step towards making the internet a safer place for your children, your students, or the children you care for.
Never let young children surf the 'net alone.
Even if you can't sit by them, stay within earshot
and keep an interest in what they are looking at.
For this reason, keep the computer in a common area such as
the family or living room, rather than in bedrooms or the study.
Encourage kids to talk about what they see on the web,
and to ask questions if it's something they don't understand.
Teach children that strangers on the 'net
are just the same as strangers you meet in person.
If Mum (Mom) or Dad doesn't know the person,
then they are a stranger and your child should not e-mail or chat with them without checking with a grown-up first.
Kids love writing to e-pals (internet pen pals)
but discourage them from meeting new friends on-line or using
pen-pal matching services. Instead, line up your child
with the child of a trustworthy friend or colleague
who lives interstate or overseas.
If your child does start to develop cyber-friendships,
get to know your child's cyber-friends just as you would their school friends, and let them know you keep an eye
on your child's e-mail.
Talk about what is OK and not OK to do and say on the 'net
and set some house rules.
For example, it might be OK to give your first name
or a "handle" (internet nickname) but it is not OK
to give your last name, your phone number or address or to meet someone you met over the web.
Help children think up their own "handle" or internet nickname. Some examples are "skate champ", "rugrat", "jedi" - something which is meaningful to them but does not give away personal details. If you are a teacher, this would make an excellent class activity.
Teach kids to walk away from the computer if someone says something yucky or scary. And if this happens,
they should tell a grown-up straight away.
Don't let kids use unmoderated chatrooms.
Most kids can't type fast enough to make it fun anyway.
Many of the well known search engines may pull up
pornographic or otherwise unsuitable sites even when the search
term seems completely innocent.
Encourage your children to use only reputable "kid's own" directories or portals such as Yahooligans or Alfy (which uses graphics rather than words and is therefore
particularly good for younger kids).
These directories screen all sites before they can be listed to ensure they adhere to "kids safe" criteria.
Finally, make your homepage a reputable "kid safe" site
such as wicked4kids, so you know every time your kids go
on-line, their experience starts with a
positive and safe experience.