Real World Advice for Safe, Secure Surfing: Bridging the Internet Age Gap

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Practical tips for parents

According to a 2004 Kaiser Family Foundation study, children and teens spend six hours and 41 minutes each day exposed to media, such as TV, radio, computers and music. While most adults use the Internet to work or pay bills, children use it to explore, communicate with their friends, download music and play games.

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Now, more than ever, it is important to keep parent-child communication lines open, especially when it comes to Internet usage. To ensure a safe online experience, Microsoft created Windows Live Family Safe Settings, a free, Web-based customizable safety service that includes age-appropriate safety setting guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to Dr. Shifrin, "Surfing the Web should be like driving a car. We don't just wait until our children turn 16, give them a driver's license, put them in a car and send them off. We educate them and drive with them until we trust that they are driving safely.

Similarly, with the Internet, we encourage parents to get involved sooner rather than later, since kids are going to be on the Internet, and we want them to surf safely."

Today at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition (NCE), Dr. Shifrin and Peter Ollodart discussed practical tips for parents on what they can teach their kids about using the Internet safely such as never giving out personal information, never sharing passwords and never meeting in person a friend they only know online.

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