While the Internet is a great way to do research, shop and keep in touch with friends, it is also a source of anxiety for parents. In her new book, The Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Children In Cyberspace, Internet lawyer Parry Aftab talks about the dangers for kids on the Web.
Aftab told CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Jane Clayson that the biggest danger for kids on the Internet is "corresponding with people who may not have their best interests at heart and talking to strangers who may be looking to meet your child."
Some tips from Aftab on protecting children from Web dangers include:
- Get surfing lessons from your kids
- Don't overreact to problems when children tell you about them
- Monitor the time your kids spend online and
- Reward kids with more freedom
"As you set the rules and your kids follow them, let them go to more sites," Aftab said. "You let them spend a little bit more time online and use instant messaging and e-mail more."
She reminds parents that they are still in charge and have responsibility, despite helpful computerized filters.
"You may not understand the technology but your judgment exceeds your children's judgment," Aftab said. "The best filtering is between your kids' ears. You have to educate them."
Aftab said the Internet has replaced the television as a babysitter.
"The Internet talks back and your kids can talk to it," Aftab said. "So it's a lot different than television."
With 20 million kids on the Internet, Aftab said parents need to teach kids "how to handle the Web without keeping them off, because the greatest risk our children face is being denied access."
For more information on monitoring your kids' Internet usage or help with a problem, visit CyberAngels.com.