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RabbiHorowitz.com - Contemporary Parenting Questions
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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 10/29/08

How can I protect my children from the dangers of the internet?

Since the creation of the internet, kids of all cultures and ages can access any information with the click of a mouse. Children can look up information for research papers, play games, and interact with their peers all from the comfort of their home computer. Although the internet is a tremendous asset, many dangers come along with it. Whether done purposely or by mistake, kids can easily access inappropriate media. They can read things parents may not want them to know and meet people without a parent’s consent. So-called "social networking" sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Xanga make it easier than ever for predators to cloak their identities online — even more so than previous types of online communication like chat rooms and forums. Online predators are a threat to every child with internet access. Parents who wish to protect their children from the dangers of the internet should speak openly to their children about what is out there and how they can protect themselves from it. Monitoring a child’s internet activity is not nosy; it is safety.

In the Jewish Community

Many parents in the Jewish Community wish to shelter their children as much as possible. This movement to shelter children resulted in the banning of some recent technology, such as text messaging and the internet. In some communities, children cannot be accepted into a school if they have access to the internet. Although some children in an extraordinarily sheltered environment may be able to avoid the internet all of their lives, reality is that most will eventually need it as adults. It is possible and commendable to try to delay the time that kids are exposed to the internet, but parents must also prepare their children for the almost inevitable time when they will use it. With a proper backing, they are more likely to stay strong in difficult situations and will be able to make the right decisions. If children are allowed to access the internet, they should be informed that the sites they visit will be monitored. Filtering software is recommended, but parents must always remember that no filter is perfect and precautionary measures still must be taken.

Use the following links to learn more about the dangers of the internet and how to protect your children from them. Read about different safety measures and find out where to get help if you suspect that your child has a problem.

Frequently Asked Links

What is online harassment?

Are my children vulnerable to online harassment?

What should I do if my child is being harassed online?

What are some of the dangerous materials that children can access over the internet? more

What is an internet addiction?

How do I know if my child has an internet addiction?

Are internet addictions treatable?

How can I protect my child online?

How can I protect my child from strangers online? more

Are teens safe from online predators?

How can I ensure my teen’s safety on the internet?

How can my children safely surf the internet? more

What are some ways to promote healthy internet habits?

How can I expect my child to withstand the temptations of the internet?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How should I react to the changes that the internet and other modern technology bring to my child’s life?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Why should parents avoid bans?

By Rabbi Yonasan Rosenblum

Why is it important for parents to accept the internet?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Related Articles

Computer-Related Repetitive Stress Injuries
Whether it is typing a report or surfing the Internet, your child may be spending many hours at the computer. Learn the facts about repetitive stress injuries in our article for parents.

Do You Know How to Be Street Smart?
Strangers are people you do not know, so you need to be careful. Read this article for kids to learn how to stay safe.

Resources

Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Mental Health Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Netsmartz Kids
http://www.netsmartzkids.org/indexFL.htm
Through games and activities, this site helps kids understand how to stay safe online, especially when communicating via instant messaging and social networking sites.

SafeTeens.com
http://www.safeteens.com
SafeTeens.com offers information about Internet safety and homework help for teens.

i-SAFE America
http://www.isafe.org
i-SAFE teaches kids and teens how to be safe on the Internet.

Cyberangels
http://www.cyberangels.org
Cyberangels.org is an Internet safety organization that seeks to address the concerns of parents, the needs of children, on-line abuse and cyber crime.

Family Education Network
http://www.familyeducation.com
Visit this site to learn more about blocking, filtering, monitoring and tracking software. This site also offers games, quizzes, and articles especially for kids and teens.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
http://www.missingkids.com
This organization provides services to families and professionals in the prevention of abducted, endangered, or sexually exploited children. Call: (800) THE-LOST

Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.

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