The Internet contains a wealth of valuable information. Unfortunately, it also presents thousands of websites that simply are not suitable for children. WriteAPrisoner.com is dedicated to protecting children from such content. Please take a moment to learn more about the steps we take to keep kids safe online, as well as ways you can help. Also, please check out Precautionary Measures Taken by WriteAPrisoner.com for additional measures taken to safeguard the public.
In 2013, almost six out of ten children, ages three to 17 (57%), used the Internet at home, nearly six times as many as in 1997 (11%).
Our policy strictly prohibits minors from contacting inmates or from even accessing our website. When a pen-pal emails an inmate on our website, certain information is recorded, such as the Internet Provider Address and Internet Server. This information can be used to contact and pinpoint a user’s Internet provider, such as AOL or Yahoo. If a minor contacts an inmate, the minor is reported to their hosting company, and we send a letter to the resident of the house notifying the adult on record of what happened. We also send the inmate a letter acknowledging that we are aware of what has transpired and request he/she ceases contact with the minor. In addition, the email address from which the message originated is permanently blocked from sending any further messages to our site. This is almost a non-existent occurrence. The inmates are not seeking correspondence with minors. An inmate’s mail is already much more regulated than a normal citizen’s mail, and they realize this will only bring more problems. If your child is seeking information on crime and prison, we have created a site to address this just for kids: CrimeFreeKids.com.
How You Can Help Keep Kids Safe Online
- Become computer literate. Today’s children are especially Internet savvy, so it’s important that you learn how to block objectionable material.
- Install search filter software, which can be found at: www.netnanny.com, www.cyberpatrol.com or www.safesurf.com. In addition to these sites, many Internet Service Providers provide Parental Controls to help make the Internet safer for children. Please check with your specific Internet Service Provider for more information.
- Set rules and guidelines for Internet use by your child. Go over these rules with them to ensure they understand the rules. It’s also a good idea to post the rules near the computer as a reminder.
- Place your computer in a common area, such as the kitchen or living room. This makes it easier to monitor your child’s computer activity.
- Set up a shared email address with your child, so you can monitor email messages and other online activity.
- Never use your child’s real name in his/her screen name or email address. Also, make sure your child knows never to share personal information such as name, school name, location, address, and phone number.
- Bookmark your child’s favorite websites for quick and easy access.
- Maintain an open line of communication and encourage your child to tell you if he/she has encountered an uncomfortable online situation. Take any such claims seriously and praise your child for coming to you with this information.