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Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly



Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly

Nancy E. Willard

ISBN: 978-0-787-99417-4 March 2007 Jossey-Bass 336 Pages

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Essential strategies to keep children and teens safe online

As our children and teens race down the onramp to the Information Superhighway, many parents feel left behind in the dust. News stories about online sexual predators, child pornography, cyberbullies, hate groups, gaming addiction, and other dangers that lurk in the online world make us feel increasingly concerned about what our children are doing (and with whom) in cyberspace. In Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens, Internet safety expert Nancy Willard provides you with need-to-know information about those online dangers, and she gives you the practical parenting strategies necessary to help children and teens learn to use the Internet safely and responsibly.

Parents protect younger children by keeping them in safe places, teaching them simple safety rules, and paying close attention. As children grow, we help them gain the knowledge, skills, and values to make good choices--choices that will keep them safe and show respect for the rights of others. In Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens, Willard shows you how those same strategies can be translated from the real world to the cyberworld, and that you don't have to learn advanced computer skills to put them into effect. As you work on these strategies with your child, you will also discover that remaining engaged with what your children are doing online is much more valuable than any blocking software you could buy.

"Willard blends the perspectives of a wise parent and a serious scholar about issues related to Internet behavior and safety. . . . Pick up the book, open it to any random page, and you will find on that page or nearby a wealth of helpful advice and useful commentary on the cyberreality facing our children and on how to deal with any of the issues she's identified."
--Dick Thornburgh, J.D., former U.S. Attorney General; chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Youth Pornography and the Internet

"Simply put, this book is a must-read for anyone--parents, educators, law enforcement, and policymakers alike--concerned with the critical issue of children's internet safety and what to do about it."
--Douglas Levin, senior director of education policy, Cable in the Classroom

Introduction x

Part One: Internet Parenting Strategies

1. Of Fenced Play Yards and Hands-On Parenting: Effective Real-World Parenting Online 3

2. Danger Signs on the Information Highway: Overview of Online Risks and Concerns 7

3. Internet Use for Different Ages: Guidelines for Children, Early Teens, and Older Teens 15

4. Too Hard, Too Soft, Just Right: Parenting Styles and Effective Internet Parenting 27

5. Filtering Follies and Other Myths: Technology “Quick Fixes” Lead to False Security 33

6. I’m Your Parent. It’s My Responsibility: Supervising Your Child’s Online Activities 39

7. A Community of Parents: Collaborating with Other Parents 47

8. Red Flags! Warning Signs and Responses 51

9. Away from Home: Use of the Internet at Other Places 57

10. Get It in Writing: Parent-Teen Internet Use Agreement 63

Part Two: Foundational Issues

11. Me and My Friends: Online Social Networking 69

12. Eyeballs and E-Wallets: E-Commerce and Your Child 77

13. None of Your Business: Privacy Protection Strategies 91

14. Wired 24/7: Internet Addictive Behavior and Multitasking 103

15. Read with Your Eyes Open: The Importance of Information Literacy 113

16. Don’t Take Candy from Strangers: Online Stranger Literacy 119

Part Three: Influences on Online Decision Making

17. Working on the “Hard-Wiring”: Brain Development and Online Decision Making 131

18. You Can’t See Me, I Can’t See You: How Technology Can Interfere with Responsible Decision Making 135

19. Why We Believe What “They” Say: Social Influence Techniques Online 143

20. Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Young People Who Are at Greater Risk Online 155

21. On the Net, What You Do Reflects on You: Core Values and Standards Online 161

Part Four: Specific Risks and Concerns

22. Sex and the Internet: Risky Sexual Online Activities 175

23. I Can Say What I Want Online: Cyberbullying and Social Aggression 205

24. Questionable Support: Self-Harm Communities and “At Risk” Teens 219

25. “Us” Against “Them”: Hate Groups, Gangs, and Other Troublesome Groups 227

26. I’m Going to Get You: Cyberthreats and Distressing Material 235

27. Come and Play: Online Gaming 241

28. You Bet, I Win, You Lose: Online Gambling 249

29. Tag, I Got You: Hacking and Computer Crimes 255

30. Not the Highest Form of Flattery: Plagiarism 261

31. I Can Copy and Share Anything on the Internet: Copyright Protection and Infringement 267

32. Security First: Protection Against “Malware” 275

33. Spam, Spam, Spam, and More Spam: Unsolicited (or Unknowingly Approved) Email Advertising 281

34. Have I Got a Deal for You: Scams and Phishing 285

Part Five: Accenting the Positive

35. Finding the Good Life: Beneficial Activities Online 295

Appendix A: Parent-Teen Internet Use Agreement 299

Appendix B: The Cyberspace World 301

Notes 311

About the Author 315

Index 317