The Internet can be a wonderful resource for kids. They can use it to research school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, and play interactive games. Kids who are old enough to punch in a few letters on the keyboard can literally access the world.

But that access can also pose hazards. For example, an 8-year-old might do an online search for "Lego." But with just one missed keystroke, the word "Legs" is entered instead, and the child may be directed to a slew of websites with a focus on legs - some of which may contain pornographic material.

That's why it's important to be aware of what your kids see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online. Just like any safety issue, it's wise to talk with your kids about your concerns, take advantage of resources to protect them, and keep a close eye on their activities.

Internet Safety Laws

A federal law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), was created to help protect kids online. It's designed to keep anyone from obtaining a child's personal information without a parent knowing about it and agreeing to it first.

COPPA requires websites to explain their privacy policies on the site and get parental consent before collecting or using a child's personal information, such as a name, address, phone number, or Social Security Number. The law also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or participate in a contest.

But even with this law, your kids' best online protection is you. By talking to them about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, you'll help them surf the Internet safely.

Online Protection Tools

Online tools are available that will let you control your kids' access to adult material and help protect them from Internet predators. No option is going to guarantee that they'll be kept away from 100% of the risks on the Internet. So it's important to be aware of your kids' computer activities and educate them about online risks.

Many Internet service providers (ISPs) provide parent-control options to block certain material from coming into a computer. You can also get software that helps block access to certain sites based on a "bad site" list that your ISP creates. Filtering programs can block sites from coming in and restrict personal information from being sent online. Other programs can monitor and track online activity. Also, make sure your kids create a screen name to protect their real identity.

For more information or if you are a school, church, parent group, or any other organization interested in scheduling an internet safety presentation, contact our crime prevention unit at (949) 461-3546.

INTERNET SAFETY FOR KIDS

K- 5th Grade

There are some very important things that you need to keep in mind when you're on your computer at home or at school:

  • Remember never to give out personal information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number in a chat room or on bulletin boards. Also, never send a picture of yourself to someone you chat with on the computer without your parent's permission. Never write to someone who has made you feel uncomfortable or scared.
  • Never write to someone who has made you feel uncomfortable or scared.
  • Do not meet someone or have them visit you without the permission of your parents.
  • Tell your parents right away if you read anything on the Internet that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Remember that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could really be an older man.

INTERNET SAFETY FOR PARENTS

  • To guard against identity theft, never give out your Social Security Number. Treat it as confidential information.
  • Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you.
  • When using an ATM make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.
  • When participating in an online auction, try to pay the seller directly with a credit card so you can dispute the charges if the merchandise does not arrive or was misrepresented. If possible, avoid paying by check or money order.
  • Adopt an attitude of healthy skepticism toward websites that offer prizes or giveaways. Chances are, all that's been "won" is the opportunity to buy something you didn't want in the first place.
  • Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features.
  • Tell your children never to give out their address, telephone number, password, school name, or any other personal information.
  • Make sure your children know to never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they have met online without discussing it with you. Only if you decide that it's okay to meet their "cyber-friend" should they arrange to meet this person, and then the meeting should be in a familiar public place in the presence of a trusted adult.
  • Tell your children never to respond to messages that have bad words, are scary, or just seem weird.
  • Tell your children never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
  • Tell children never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
  • Make sure that access to the Internet at your children's school is monitored by adults.
  • Monitor all social media accounts for content, activity, and "friends."

INTERNET SAFETY FOR TEENS

Internet safety isn't about a bunch of rules telling you "never do this," or trying to scare you into safe behavior. Internet safety is about avoiding being ripped off, disrespected, bullied, scammed, or stalked while you're just trying to have a good time online. You don't need to be sold on all the really great opportunities the Internet offers, but you do need to understand how to dodge problems.

Staying Safer Just Takes Learning a Few Things

Most of you are already pretty good at using the online sites you're interested in or have friends that help you. Over 60% of you have already taken steps to be safer online.

But there is a real difference between the steps you've taken to be safe online and what it really takes to be safe and savvy online. The difference has nothing to do with how skilled you are at using Internet services - even the most advanced web developer has to learn how to be safe online because the dangers come from other people, not programming code. Read more regarding internet safety for teens.

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2022 Business Survey


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Expand the Forest

Expand the Forest Beautification Program

Public Works Department | 100 Civic Center Dr. | Lake Forest, Ca 92630 | (949) 461 - 3493


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Note: Due to the health and wellbeing of the selected trees, plantings will occur only from October 1st though December 1st and March 1st through June 1st. Staff will contact you during this time frame. Dedication plaques are not allowed. 


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The cost of the Expand the Forest Program is $93.00/15 gallon tree. 

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Expand the Forest Program
100 Civic Center Dr.
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City of Lake Forest
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Responsible Pet Ownership

Vet / Clinic:
20780 Lake Forest Dr., Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 600-8310
23162 El Toro Frontage Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 837-5222
29040 Portola Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 380-1255
24301 Muirlands Blvd Ste P, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 837-7660
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