Why America Links Up
The online world is no longer optional for our children. It has become an increasingly essential component of all of our lives, and our children will be the primary beneficiaries of the vast resources it has to offer. Already, kids across the country use the Internet everyday to research subjects for school and for fun and to communicate with their friends and family. From this, they are developing lifelong learning skills.
At the same time, however, ensuring that this new medium is rewarding and safe for our kids is an ongoing challenge.
America Links Up will help parents, teachers and all caregivers understand the benefits of this medium, the challenges associated with it and the resources available to address those challenges. This campaign fulfills the commitment made by the participants of the Internet-Online Summit: Focus on Children in December 1997. The campaign reflects the consensus that making the Internet a safe and rewarding place for our children is a responsibility shared by the entire Internet community from industry to parents, from teachers to government, from law enforcement to librarians.
What is it?
How can I get involved?
What do I need to know to keep my children safe online?
ONE Take the trip together. Take the time to see what your kids are doing online and what their interests are. Encourage your kids to adopt what they know about safety to the online world.
TWO Teach kids to never give out their name, school, address, phone number, picture, or other personal information to people they meet online, unless they have a parent or guardian's approval and know what the information will be used for.
THREE Instruct your child never to plan a face-to-face meeting alone with online acquaintances. If they are invited to a meeting, make sure they get your permission first, and that they go with you or an adult family member and always stay in a public place.
FOUR If your child receives offensive or dangerous e-mail or other communication, tell him or her not to respond and to let you know immediately. You should also alert your Internet service provider. Child pornography or any other illegal activities directed at children should be reported to the CyberTipline at www.missingkids.com/cybertip.
FIVE Establish clear ground rules for Internet use for your kids. Discuss the Tips for Kids Online. Decide whether or not to use parental control tools or protective software. Ask service providers about parental control tools, or computer stores about "child safety software" to block, restrict, monitor and review kids activities online.
SIX Place your computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Or use the computer together at a library, school or community center. This will help keep you involved while your child is online.
We also recommend that you go over the following "Tips for Kids Online" with your children. Tell your children that surfing the web safely and responsibly is in their hands. Children should follow their family 's rules for using the Internet and keep their parents up to date about their online activities. In the same way that you taught them to look both ways before crossing the street and to not get into a stranger 's car, you should also get them to agree to the following common-sense rules for online safety.