March 3-9, 2000
Housing rates increased; rector backs more active role for board
Provost staff and other offices moving
Speaking up: Senate initiative takes faculty expertise to Virginia's citizens
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March 22-26
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Scholars awarded Fulbright grants

Take our Advice
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Take our Advice

The Internet can be a rich resource for children, whether for researching reports or just playing games. But there's a seamy side of the electronic village, so it's best to give kids some guidance when they're online.

Children's World Learning Centers, which operates the University's child-care facility, has passed along some helpful tips for parents and children to keep in mind.

Getting started

  • Set aside time to explore the Internet with your child. If your child has some computer experience, let him take the lead. Visit some children's sites.

  • Explain to your child that although he may be alone in a room using the computer, once logged on to the Internet, he is no longer alone. Other skilled computer users can find out who you are and where you are; they can even tap into information in your computer.

    Controlling access

  • The best tool a child can have for screening material found on the Web is her own judgment. Teach children about some of the inappropriate material that can appear on the Internet and how to respond to it when they see it.
  • Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features, which can block contact that is not clearly marked as appropriate for children, such as chat rooms, bulletin boards, news groups and discussion groups.

  • Purchase blocking software and design your own safety system. Different packages can block sites by name, search for unacceptable words and block access to sites containing those words, block entire categories of materials, and prevent children from giving out personal information.

    Tell your children ...

  • To always let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening on the Internet.

  • Never to give out their name, address, telephone number, password, school name, parents' names, or any other personal information.

  • Never to agree to meet face-to-face with someone they've met online.

  • Never to respond to messages that have bad words, seem scary, or are just weird.

  • Never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.

    Never to send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.

    "Take our Advice" is a regular feature that taps the University's expertise for practical tips in a wide variety of areas. To suggest a future topic, e-mail us at


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