Laptop Program: Internet Safety
As required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, a current filtering solution is maintained by Watauga County Schools for use on all laptops.
You don’t need to understand the Internet to protect your family. Included with your son/daughter's laptop is Internet filtering software. This reliable and always current Internet security technology is designed to stop pornographers, hackers, trojans and other threats from getting to your son/daughter's laptop. The same Internet filtering controls your student has at school will be in effect on their device at home.
However, it is important to remember that no software program is perfect. There is always the possibility that something inappropriate could “slip through” or something that is appropriate will be blocked. Realize that filtering programs do not necessarily protect teens from all dangerous activities. In addition, they might block what one can see online, they might not block what they can say. For example, even with a filter it might be possible for a child to post inappropriate material or personal information on a social networking site or blog or disclose it in a chat room or an instant message.
While it is your son/daughter's responsibility to follow guidelines for appropriate use of the Internet, the best way to assure that they are having positive online experiences is to stay in touch with what they are doing. One way to do this is to spend time with your children while they're online. Have them show you what they are doing and be sure to set rules and guidelines for their Internet use. We highly recommend following these basic guidelines from the "Teen Safety on the Internet Highway":
- Be open with your teens and encourage them to come to you if they encounter a problem online
- Keep your identity private
- Never get together with someone you “meet” online
- Never respond to e-mail, chat comments, instant messages or other messages that are hostile, belligerent, inappropriate or in any way make you feel uncomfortable
SafeTeens.com has posted valuable articles with tips and hotlinks for training students to be safe on the Internet. Any parent whose children have access to a computer-- whether their own laptops, a home desktop, or a friend's-- should take a look at this posting. In addition, several other web resources are listed below containing good safety tips and advice for student and parents using the Internet.