InSite--Safer Surfing for Kids

With the new school year starting lots of kids, probably yours, are going to be spending lots of time on the Internet. This is a tough one. There is so much bad stuff out there, you can't help but run across something offensive. But I found a place you might want to take your kids before they start surfing on their own.

It's the Netsmartz Workshop, and it's one of the coolest sites around, with lots of sounds and attention getting graphics, the way you should try to teach kids about the Internet.

They break it down into sections for parents and teachers, kids, teens and free stuff for anybody. Let's start with the grown up place. This is especially important if you're new to computers and your kids are on the cutting edge of technology.

If there's one page you read on this site, make it this one. A warning about the potential risks kids face alone on the Internet. It's a little alarmist, a bit like someone trying to scare you to stay in your house after dark and never venture out, but it's a good overview of what can happen.

To keep it from happening, check out the list of tips for parents about supervising kids on the 'web, including something practical to post by the computer. A simple reminder for kids surfing alone. Parents also might want to consider making up rules of their own about hours spent on line, sites and downloads, depending on the kids.

They have tons of stuff with simple explanations so your kids will learn not to look at things they're not supposed to, talk to strangers or meet anyone. Not frightening, just straightforward explanations the way you might do it. You can take it up a notch for older kids, with some lessons on spam and hotheads and even people who just flat spend too much time on the Internet.