Internet Safety Tips for Parents
- Parents need to educate themselves in the use of the computer and the Internet. Both preschool and school children generally have more of a working knowledge about computers and the Internet than their parents. Become a part of your child’s online experience. It can be a fun journey to explore the wonders of the Internet as a family. As computer savvy as kids and teens are today, they may even teach you a thing or two.
- As with any other topic, parents should openly and frequently talk with their children about the usage and expectation of the computer and the Internet settings.
- The computer should be in a common room, not in the child’s bedroom, so it and the child’s activities can be easily observed.
- Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. Are the services appropriate for your rules and your child’s age?
- Never give out identifying information such as: home address, school names, grade, age, telephone number, etc. With the information available on the Internet, and a little time and effort, it is easy to locate information about a person.
- If you observe sudden screen changes, or what you feel may be unusual behavior by your child while they are online, talk with your child and observe the programs they are using.
- Keep track of the amount of online time your child spends, and where your child is traveling while on the Internet. Check the “Internet Browser History”.
- Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without your permission and supervision.
- If your child has a “special friend”, have they received gifts, computer programs, phone calls, other favors, or do they own phone calling cards?
- Never respond to messages, emails or bulletins if they if they are from an unknown source. Do not reply to the “remove me from list” or similar messages. This will confirm your email is a valid one.
- Report inappropriate messages to law enforcement. If possible, save or print out the information and/or chat; and if possible, save the message and do not delete it before speaking with law enforcement officials.
- Remember that people online may not be who they purport to be.
- Remember that everything you read online may not be true, whether in an email or on a website.
If there is a problem or suspected problem with a Chat Room, report it immediately! Try to obtain:
- The name of the chat channel or chat room?
- The nickname or screen name of the suspect?
- Time and dates are very important.
- If possible, save the chat, or at least print a copy of the chat log or user list.