Never alone: Protecting kids on the Internet

    dpa--The Internet and the wealth of information and entertainment found on it aren't just a draw for adults. Even the smallest of children quickly feel the pull of the World Wide Web.
    What's important is that these young surfers not be left alone to explore that universe of content, much of it inappropriate for children. They should instead be given parental guidance, with special software to help with that process. Just as crucially, children must be taught basic rules of behavior to word of virtual predators.
    "In the end, parents need to set up rules and see that they are observed," says Julia Christiani from ProPK, a government-funded crime prevention organization in Stuttgart. One major step is achieved when a child learns that names, addresses, telephone numbers, passwords and other sensitive data should never be revealed.
    "That helps guard against ill-intentioned persons looking to make contact, arrange meetings or fish for personal information," Christiani says.
    There dangers frequently lurk in chat rooms. A favorite visiting spot for kids, chat rooms provide space for people of similar interests to come together and type messages to one another.
    One tool for ensuring that children are alone with other children, and not being spied on, threatened or harassed, is moderated chats for children. Everything that is typed is first checked by a moderator before being released onto the screen.
    "You should demonstrate responsible interaction with the Internet by not just surfing the Web yourself all day," Christiani advises.
    Another realistic solution is software known as filter programs. They scan Web sites for specific characteristics or keywords, blocking access where necessary.
    Yet filters are no silver bullet either. "Child filters currently can provide a limited amount of protection at best when calling up Internet pages. They're powerless against chatting and mailing," reports the German Internet security portal of the European Union, Even the best child filters allow one in five inappropriate sites to get through.
    Another option is to set up time-restricted accounts and access restrictions to specific programs and games to prevent kids from spending too much time on the Web or in front of the monitor.
    It is imperative that the parents use secure passwords for their own accounts, to prevent intrepid kids from making changes to the settings. After all, in many households it is the children, not the parents, who have the upper hand when it comes to computing skills.
inappropriate adj. 不適的;不合的;不當的
predator n. 肉食動物
observe vt. 觀察
reveal vt. 顯露;洩露;揭露((to))
intention n. 意向;意圖;目的
intent adj. 專心的;勤奮的;專注的
crucial adj. 重要的, 決定性的
achieve vt. 實現;完成
arrange vt, 排列;分類;整理, 安排;調整;調解
lurk vi. 伺機;潛伏;埋伏
threaten vt. 恫嚇;恐嚇;威脅
threat n. 脅迫;恐嚇
harass vt. 激惹;使困擾;打擾
imperative adj. 表示命令的;有權威的
realistic adj. 寫實的;逼真的;栩栩如生的
restrict vi. 約束;限定;限制((to))
restriction n. 限制
intrepid adj. 勇猛的;無畏的;勇敢的
household adj. 家屬的;家內的
skill n. 技能;技巧;機巧;老練
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