Sunday, July 13, 2003

Protecting your kids while they're online



Find nearby offenders: Want to see if someone you know is a registered sex offender, or if one lives in your neighborhood? Here's how.

OHIO

In Hamilton County

Go to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office web site, www.hcso.org. Click on "public services," then "sex offenders."

In Warren County

Go to the Warren County Sheriff's Office Web site, www.wcsooh.org. Click on "sexual offender."

In Butler County

Go to the Butler County Sheriff's Office Web site, www.butlersheriff.org. Click on "sexual offenders." In Clermont County

Go to the Clermont County Sheriff's Office Web site, www.clermontsheriff.org. Click on "sex offenders."

KENTUCKY

Kentucky State Police maintain a sex offender registry at http://kspsor.state.ky.us Or, call Kentucky's sex offender alert line at (866) 564-5652 to register to get phone alerts when an offender moves into your neighborhood.

INDIANA

Indiana lists registered sexual offenders on a web site: www.in.gov/serv/cji_sor

Information on offenders also can be found at each county sheriff's office:

Ohio County: 123 S. Mulberry St., Rising Sun.

Ripley County: 210 N. Monroe St., Versailles.

Dearborn County: 301 West High St., Lawrenceburg.

Software, online tools

Some Internet providers, such as AOL, have parental controls that can block all incoming e-mail containing certain words or phrases in the subject line.

Software such as Watchdog and Net Nanny have similar capabilities. Watchdog limits the time a child uses the Internet, restricts where kids browse and what they can change, and monitors Web sites, applications, chat rooms and e-mails.

Tips for parents

Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. Have your child show you what he or she does online, and become familiar with the things that you can do online.

If someone sends you or your children messages or images that are obscene, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline at (800) 843-5678 or www.missingkids.com.

Be sure to make the Internet a family activity. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than a child's bedroom. Get to know your children's "online friends" just as you get to know all their other friends.

Sources: Ken Mahler, a certified computer consultant based in Madeira; Safekids.com, a Web site dedicated to helping families navigate the Internet; Enquirer research.




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