A Tulsa company is arming parents with computer know how to keep their kids safe from online predators. They say communication is the key, but there are effective ways to do it.
News on 6 anchor Jennifer Loren says these days, parents have a lot to worry about, including their children and the Internet. Hundreds showed up for two Cascia Hall seminars on protecting children online.
"Parents are asking all the time what can we do to help monitor things at home? What can we do at school to help monitor things?" said Maureen Clements, Director of Cascia Hall Middle School.
Popular websites like MySpace.com, Xanga and Facebook offer young people a forum where they place personal information to make friends. But unfortunately, their friends are not the only ones logging on.
"We're also seeing the other side of it where itâ€™s very dangerous and they just don't understand that. So we're trying to help the parents educate them better" Clements said.
Cascia called in the experts, Oklahoma Digital Forensics Professionals. "We realized there was a need for parents to understand the Internet and the dangers of the Internet," said Gavin Manes, President Oklahoma Digital Forensics Professionals.
The Forensics Professionals developed five tips for parents to use in keeping their children safe.
Number 1: Actively monitor them. "Put the computer in a public place. It shouldn't be in their room, much like you wouldn't let your kids watch TV by themselves when they're extremely young," said Manes.
Tip 2: Communicate. Have a talk with them, like you would about drugs or strangers.
"Itâ€™s the same talk. Be careful, careful who you talk to. Don't take things inappropriate," Manes said.
Number 3: Be technologically aware. Know the devices you buy them. "You may take the computer away from them but they may have an Xbox, or a cell phone, or some other device that communicates the Internet," said Manes.
Tip number 4: Know the source. "You may restrict whatâ€™s going on at your house. But what's going on when they go to grandmother's house, or a friends house, or even the school," said Manes.
And number 5: Be in control. Your child is your responsibility. "When you're scared of something or see something you didn't like you need to take action, not be passive," Manes said.
They stress the fact that technology and monitoring devices can only do so much. The key to keeping kids safe is good communication.