Internet Safety Tips for Parents
Teach your child the responsible use of the resources online.
- Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child’s bedroom where he or she can close the door and surf the web unseen and unsupervised. In the majority of cases in which children have been victimized or involved in a computer crime, the computer has been located in the child’s room.
- Use of chat rooms or instant messaging, in particular, should be heavily monitored. Using applications designed to enhance social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook can make personal information as public as posting it on a billboard.
- Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally rely on them.
- Maintain access to your child’s online account and consider randomly checking his/her e-mail and online activity. Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why. Also know that your child could be contacted through the U.S. mail.
Instruct your children to never:
- Arrange a face-to-face meeting alone with someone they met online. Take a trusted adult.
- Upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet, cell phone, or other service to people they do not personally know and trust.
- Give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number.
- Download information from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images or a virus. Avoid downloading and installing what’s known as an “application”, which is one of thousands of mini-programs on a growing number of social-networking web sites that are designed by third-party developers to access information.
- Respond to cyber bullying messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing.
- Assume that whatever they are told online is true.
Internet Safety Tips for Students
- Avoid responding to messages that make you feel uncomfortable because they contain rude or nasty comments, threats, or rumors.
- Save proof: text message, e-mails, screenshots, IM logs, blogs, etc. Use the back button or turn off the screen if you find inappropriate content.
- Tell a trusted adult who can file a complaint.
- Do not give out personal information such as your name, your or your family’s address, phone number, work address, school name, or bank card data. The potential for criminals to contact or steal identity information from you or a family member is greater and greater.
- Remember, anything you post on a social network is no longer private. Online photos can be copied and altered.
- Set your profile to private.
- Know who is on your “friends list.”
- People online may not be who they seem. Someone indicating that she is a 13-year-old girl, may really be a 50-year-old male sex offender.
ResourcesComputer games to teach kids of all age’s internet safety