Trying to find helpful information regarding appropriate use of the Internet by children can be challenging for parents.
Here are some safety tips to share with your children:
Set up rules: Post clear, simple, easy-to-read rules on or near the monitor. Create your own computer rules and review them periodically.
Use filters: Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer. Look into safeguarding programs or options your online service provider may offer. These include monitoring or filtering capabilities. Have your children use child-friendly search engines when completing homework. As the parent, the Internet accounts should be in your name, and you should have the primary screen name and passwords. Don’t allow your children to create a profile for a service provider, and make sure their screen names are nondescript enough that a stranger won’t know the user is a child.
Talk about the dangers of email and chat: If your children use chat or email, talk to them about never meeting an online friend face to face. Talk to your children about not responding to offensive or dangerous email, chat or other communications. Report such communication to local law enforcement. Do not delete the offensive or dangerous email; instead turn off the monitor and contact local law enforcement. Know whom your children are exchanging email with and only let them use chat areas that you have visited.
Know what’s going on: Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Let your children show you what they can do online and visit their favorite sites or chat rooms with them. If you suspect online talking or inappropriate activity, report it to your law enforcement agency.
By following these tips, parents can help keep the Internet a safe place for their children to learn and play.