The Internet can be a dangerous place for children despite being a great resource, said Jamie Self, the director of social policy for the Georgia Family Council.
"One in five children using the Internet regularly is approached for sex," Ms. Self said, quoting a study by the Kaiser Foundation.
"That's a really scary statistic," she said, noting that cyberspace also contains easy access to violence, pornography and gambling.
"Most times, parents don't know about these dangers, and they also don't know how to protect their children," Ms. Self said.
To help equip parents, the Georgia Family Council and the Northwestern Mutual Financial Group published A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety, a book for families about Internet usage and safety.
Available free at www.georgiafamily.org or by calling (800) 326-4591, the guide contains information on Internet filters, family-friendly Internet service providers, ways to monitor children in chat rooms, and child-friendly search engines.
Despite the tips provided, Ms. Self said the council feels the most protection still comes from parents.
"There's no substitute for parental involvement," she said. "While we may talk about monitoring software, ultimately it's most important for parents to keep a watch of their kids while they are online."
TIPS FOR INTERNET SAFETY
Source: A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
Reach Kamille Bostick at (706) 823-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.