Keeping Children Safe Online

  1. Know
    Understand the risks of your child being online: cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, online predators, posting personal or inappropriate information, and sexting.
    • Be aware of your child’s Internet habits.
    • Be familiar with online terms, slang, and acronyms.
    • Become comfortable with using privacy settings.
  2. Set rules
    • Set limits about how long and when to be online.
    • Be clear about what information must not be shared online, such as personal information.
    • Insist that children use online technology in a common area.
    • Set rules about not meeting anyone offline.
    • Set expectations about purchasing items online.
  3. Check, check, check
    • Monitor what your child is viewing online, including images, sites, apps, and online chats.
    • Watch for signs of grooming.
    • Make sure your child’s email addresses and screen names are appropriate.
    • Be aware of what your child posts online, including images and personal information.
  4. Communicate
    • Prepare yourself, be open, be cool, and encourage your child to confide in you.
    • Teach your child to be assertive and how to respect self and others.
    • Discuss healthy relationships with your child.
    • Explain the consequences of using inappropriate language or images.
    • Make sure your child knows about sharing too much, online scams, and hacking.
    • Help your child identify a trusted adult to tell when something or someone makes them uncomfortable online.
  5. Report
    • Call 1-800-The-Lost
    http://www.cybertipline.com

References

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. (2014). Netsmartz workshop. Available from http://www.netsmartz.com/

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