Bay Ridge — State Sen. Marty Golden has printed a brochure, “Internet Safety,” subtitled “What Every Parent Should Know,” to serve as a guide to parents on how to protect their children against cyber criminals.
The brochure is available at the senator’s district office at 7408 Fifth Ave. Residents can also e-mail Golden at email@example.com to obtain a copy.
The four-page guide offers such tips as “Parental Control Tools,” aimed at assisting parents looking to have a firm hand on their children’s internet habits.
“Just as you would not allow your children to wander alone through unfamiliar city streets, it is too risky to allow our children to interact on the internet without parental involvement,” Golden said.
Parents should instruct their children to never agree to meet someone in person that they have chatted with online unless telling a parent first, Golden said.
Children should also be told never to respond to a message that is mean or makes them feel uncomfortable, he said.
Parents need to take a strong hand, Golden said. One way to do that is to learn how to use the internet, Golden said. For parents who are unfamiliar with computers, Golden suggested taking an introductory course at a local library, community center, or school.
Parents should also make use of internet control tools available to them, Golden said.
The tools include giving parents the ability to reroute any e-mails their children receive to the parent’s account, rejecting e-mails to their children coming from a specific e-mail address, limiting the results of internet searches by their children so that only age-appropriate material comes up, and blocking private messages between the child and other people.
The definition of cyber-bullying, according to the guide, is “when a child, pre-teen, or teen is threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen, or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.”
Parents can help protect their children by maintaining a constant line of communication with them, according to the brochure.