Keep your computer in a central and accessible location in your home and be aware of other computers your children
may be using.
Use the Internet with your children. Let them
show you what they can do online, visit their favorite
sites and maintain a dialogue with them about what applications
they are using.
Teach your children never to give out personal information (name, address, phone number, school, hometown) to people
they meet online in chat rooms or on bulletin boards.
Know who your children's online friends are and
oversee their chat areas.
If your children use chat or e-mail, advise them
not to meet in person with anyone they first "met"
online. Remind them that not everything they read
or see on the Internet is true. If you feel it is OK for
them to meet their online friends, insist they bring you
or trusted friends along and meet in a public place.
Talk to children about not responding to offensive
or dangerous e-mail, chat or other communications. Do
not delete the offensive or dangerous e-mail; turn off
the monitor, and contact local law enforcement.
Talk to children about what to do if they see something
that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused. Show them how to turn off the monitor and emphasize
that it's not their fault if they see something upsetting.
Remind children to tell a trusted adult if they see something
that bothers them.
If you suspect online "stalking" or sexual
exploitation of a child, report it to your local law-enforcement
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a system (CyberTipline.com)
for identifying online predators and child pornographers.
Internet accounts should be in the parent's name with parents having the primary screen name, controlling
passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
Implement parental-control tools that are provided
by some Internet service providers and available for purchase
as separate software packages. Remember: No program is
a substitute for parental supervision.
You may be able to set some parental controls within
your browser. Internet Explorer allows you to restrict
or allow certain Web sites to be viewed on your computer,
and you can protect these settings with a password. To
find those options, click "Tools" on your menu
bar, select "Internet Options," choose the "Content"
tab, and click the "Enable" button under "Content
Don't give out information about yourself like
your last name, phone number, address or school —
without asking your parents first.
Never e-mail a picture of yourself to strangers.
Be suspicious of those who want to know too much. There's no rule that says you have to tell them where
you live or anything else personal. Trust your instincts.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, leave.
Avoid chat rooms or discussion areas that look sketchy
or provocative, and don't let people online trick
you into thinking of them as real-life friends if you've
never met them in person.
Listen to your instincts! If somebody says something
to you that makes you uncomfortable, or if somebody sends
you something or you see something that makes you uncomfortable,
don't look around or explore: Get your parents instead
— they know what to do.
Making plans to meet your Internet buddies in real
life is usually a bad idea. If you decide to do it
anyway, have your parents help make the plans and go with
Don't open up e-mails, files or Web pages that you
get from people you don't know or trust. The same
goes for links or URLs that look suspicious — don't
click on them.
Don't give out your password, except to responsible
adults in your family.
- Be honest about your age. Membership rules are
there to protect people. If you are too young to sign
up, do not attempt to lie about your age. Talk with your
parents about alternative sites that may be appropriate