With the growing usage of the internet around the world, it is a fact that the population of young kids getting online is on the rise. With cheaper computers and wider broadband footprint, the days are gone when a parent could ignore kids getting computer savvy. There are hoards of toys imitating regular computers available for kids around age 2 and above. Hence it is natural for kids to progress to a regular computer as they grow. Now, the first thing that they will learn would be to use the browser. Then comes registration for chat rooms (where the dangers abound).
As they learn to search for stuff, they may use Google to search on their favorite shows, characters etc. This is where the search engines need to take leadership in providing a safe searching environment for Kids. There is mention of Google Safe Search, but I could not locate it.
1. Internet Safety Education
3. Keeping Internet Kids Safe (KIKS)
5. FBI:Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
5. CyberSmart! School Program
7. Ready Kids
Most important of all, kids need to be guarded from online predators.To Catch a Predator
Online Social Networking Sites such as MySpace are increasingly becoming dangerous traps for growing kids. Here is an instance of cyber-bullying that went FATALLY wrong. Frontier justice in an online world?
Technologists and regulators have to make adequate efforts at making the Internet safe for kids. But the responsibility of the parents is critical. In the end, it is the kids of the parents that are vulnerable.