Sunday, December 28, 2008

Internet Safety Tips- Keeping Our Children Safe

The other night, we were talking in the bar about internet safety and how important it is to monitor our kids while they are online.

April, Tracy and I were discussing ways to monitor the kids instant messaging conversations. When Kirsten was a tween, I used to monitor her conversations regularly. When asked how I did it, I didn't remember. Well, Google to the rescue!

There is a option in AOL's Instant Messaging(AIM) software that tells it to make a log all conversations. Once you activate this option, you can go check it after the kids go to bed.

First step- Log into AOL's AIM Software:

The software will open. In the next two pictures below, I expanded the windows to make it easier to see. If the pictures below are too small, simply click on them and they should be easier to read. You can then clcik the back button on your browser to return to this fabulously entertaining blog.

Now, right click on Edit and then Settings:

Save the log to a folder on your computer. To make mine less obvious, I labeled it with a super secret code that a tween won't be able to figure out:

That's it- that simple! To read the transcripts, simply go back to that folder and spy away. One suggestion- have a discussion with your child that you will be doing this. Trust me, nothing is worse than to get caught doing this without their knowledge. Let them know that there are creeps out there posing as kids and you just want to protect them. If they fight you, and they will, remind them if they aren't doing anything wrong, there will be no consequences. I used to tell both my kids that they do not have a right to full privacy while they are living under my roof. Now that they are in college, I've added some find print- not while they are living under my roof part time and I'm paying for their tuition.

Be warned- it won't be a comfortable conversation but with the number of sickos out there, it is one that I feel you must have to keep them safe. FWIW, do you want to know how many sex perverts are out there- click here and enter your address. You will be shocked!

I do feel conflicted on this issue. I do feel guilty about spying on my kids but if it keeps our kids safe, I'm for it!

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