Email Safety for Kids

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When you were growing up, your parents probably taught you not to talk to strangers, and you probably tell your own children that as well. But, with children having access to computers and the Internet, talking to virtual strangers is easy and may not seem threatening to children. The reality, according to the FBI, is that talking to strangers through email can be dangerous for kids.

When you were growing up, your parents probably taught you not to talk to strangers, and you probably tell your own children that as well. But, with children having access to computers and the Internet, talking to virtual strangers is easy and may not seem threatening to children. The reality, according to the FBI, is that talking to strangers through email can be dangerous for kids.

Anonymous Email

When kids surf the Internet, at some point they usually want to send an email to someone they meet online, according to the WiredKids website. If you allow your child to do this, monitor any emails, and instruct your child never to send his real email address. He can set up an anonymous email account through email providers, such as Hotmail or Gmail. For the safety of the computer, you or your child should install antivirus software and run a firewall before setting up a free email account. Your child should not open attachments from strangers.

Selecting an Address

Your child should carefully select an email address that does not reveal age, gender or location. The email name should not be anything that sex offenders would be attracted to, such as "hotlips" or "loveandkisses." Your child can select an interesting word from a dictionary and use that, suggests WiredKids.

White Lies

You probably spent years instructing your child not to tell lies. But, if you want her to be safe from pedophiles online, she should put incorrect information into her profile when signing up for a free email account, suggests WiredKids. If she used "Taser" as her email name, she should put Taser as her first and last name when filling out her profile. She should choose male as her gender and choose an adult age. She should leave any optional fields blank, such as interests, and never provide a real photo. Your child should not use her real address, either. She can make one up.

About Sex Offenders

Sex offenders target curious children who are looking to establish relationships outside their family, according to the FBI. Children who are online during the evening are at the greatest risk. Often, the sex offender begins by chatting or emailing with your child. This type of communication becomes cumbersome to the sex offender, according to actual FBI investigations. The sex offender usually tries to take online conversations further, such as engaging in phone conversations and sending letters and photographs to your home address.

Be Involved

You should know the person your child is emailing. Instruct your child never to give out personal information to strangers, such as your phone number, address, photographs, which school he attends or what type of sports he plays.

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