Experts say it's important to monitor kids online - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Experts say it's important to monitor kids online


After the parents of an 11-year-old boy found that he had made an explosive device, he said he learned how online.

It raises questions for some parents, how can they monitor their children's online activity.

"It doesn't take but a second for them to click out of it," said Alma Schrader Elementary School Teacher Patti Pyeatte.

She said it's important to monitor your kids' Internet use, and talk to them about what's right and what's wrong.

"People assume that their child is sitting next to them and they couldn't possibly get into trouble, but the Internet takes only half a second to reach all kinds of sites," said Pyeatte.

"I think it's just an awareness, I guess the reason I trust my son so much is we have had the discussions, what do you look at on the Internet," said Vicki Lawson, the Interim Executive Director for the Cape Girardeau Boys and Girls Club.

What if your kids need to use the Internet for homework?

Pyeatte said the Internet is a good resource for teaching and learning if used safely.

"And it doesn't take very long to gather enough information to get yourself in trouble if you're 6, 1, 12, 15, something, you can get anything you want off of it," said Pyeatte.

"The Internet is a valuable resource and I do find that it's a shame that the resource gets misused, the way it does," said Lawson.

Lawson said they monitor the kids' online use at the club even when it's for homework.

"They come into the offices and use our computers with one of us sitting with them so that way we can make sure they don't accidentally pull something they don't need to have or sometimes intentionally go to game sites, so we monitor it literally face to face," said Lawson.

To protect your kids while they're doing homework, Pyeatte suggests installing a filter on the home computer to block sites.

"There's filters that you can put on your computer and all you have to do is type key words, and those sites will be eliminated, they can't get to them," said Pyeatte.

She also suggests checking a computer's history.

"As long as they don't know it's there to wipe it clean you can go on there and say by the way, what happened here," said Pyeatte.

In addition to protecting your kids from finding bad things online, you want to protect bad things from finding your kids.

Pyeatte said in her class she talks about the danger of online predators,

"On the Internet, even though someone tells you that they're your fairy godmother, they're probably the big bad wolf," said Pyeatte.

And, she said she talks about cyber bullying.

"Would you say this to someone if you were looking at someone and you could see them cry when you said it, no," said Pyeatte.

And, talks about how online activity can have consequences.

"I tell them that on the Internet everything is traceable, that it doesn't matter whose computer you use, it can be tracked back to you," said Pyeatte.

She said it's all part of the lessons of the Internet, taught both at school from teachers, and at home from parents.

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