Parental Controls and Training Programs
3. Use Parental Controls and make a safety pledge
Net Nanny Parental Controls, CYBERsitter, and Cyberpatrol are popular software that let you specify with which buddies your child can chat or e-mail and which sites are okay to visit. For a comparison chart, visit http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com.
Once you have the right filtering system for your computer, print out a safety pledge you and your child can sign and post by your computer. Here's one from Safekids.com: http://www.safekids.com/safekidscontract.pdf.
4. Train them to fight back
A program called radKIDS, an offshoot of Rape Aggression Defense, trains kids ages 5 to 12 defense skills against abduction. (Screaming "Stay back, you're not my parent!" when sensing an attack is one of them.) Explain that they'll probably never have to use any of these techniques, but you want them to know what to do -- and that knowing these things will help them feel safer. To locate a program near you, visit www.radkids.org/programs.html.