Internet Safety for Parents:
Children and teens use a wide array of online services, and each can have different safety concerns. There are some basic tips, however, that you can utilize for all types of internet use.
Make sure the computer your children have access to is in a communal area of your home.
Set limits with your kids as to which sites they may have access to and for how long.
Remember, technology is mobile now, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops. Installing a parental control app may give you some additional peace of mind.
Spend time with your kids online. Let them show you what they like to do online.
Be aware of who is communicating with your kids online and set rules and boundaries for social networking, messaging, chatting, e-mailing, gaming, and webcam use.
Keep a continuous dialogue with your children about online safety.
There are many online tools available to help control control your childrens’ access to adult material and help protect them from Online predators. Although no option is going to guarantee that they’ll be safe from all of the risks on the Internet, it may help reduce their risk. Do your research and find your best options.
Many Internet service providers provide parental control options to block certain items and content from coming onto a computer. You can also get software that helps block access to certain sites based on a “bad site” list that your ISP creates. There are filtering programs can block sites from coming in and restrict personal information from being sent online. Other programs can monitor and track online activity.
Make sure your kids create a screen name that you know to protect their real identity.
There can be warning signs if a child being or becoming a target of an online predator. These may include: spending more than the usual amount of time online, especially at night, phone calls from people you don’t know, or unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail. Changes in your child’s behavior: If they suddenly turn off the computer when you walk into the room. Be sure to question why and monitor their computer time more often and more closely. Withdrawal from daily activities and family life can also be a warning sign.
Be sure to contact your police department and/or the FBI if your child has received pornography or has been the target of an online sex offender.
Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Teens
Never post your personal information, such as a cell phone number, home number, home address, or your location on any social networking site or through mobile apps like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.
Never meet in person with anyone you first “met” on the internet. If someone asks to meet you, tell your parents or guardian right away. Some people may not be who they say they are.
Check with your parents before you post pictures of yourself or others online. Do not post inappropriate pictures of anyone.
Never respond to mean or rude texts, messages, and e-mails. Delete any unwanted messages. You may need to delete friends who continuously bother you or post things that are not appropriate.
NEVER share your password with anyone, including your best friend. The only people who should know your password are your parents or guardian.
Do not download or install software or anything on your computer or cell phone before checking with your parents or guardian.
Use the privacy settings of social networking sites.
If anything makes you feel uncomfortable online, while gaming or when using your cell phone, talk with your parents or guardian right away.