- Place the computer in a common room where the computer can be seen and activities can easily be monitored. This will provide both the child and the parent greater accountability for their activities on the computer.
- Monitor your child’s activity on the computer. Be familiar with the websites that they visit.
- Check the internet history to ensure they aren’t visiting websites that are inappropriate.
- Openly discuss potential dangers of the Internet with your child.
- Know each of your child’s passwords and develop a set of rules for internet use.
- Know who your child communicates with over the internet. Make sure they can put a face with every screen name on their “buddy” list. They should not communicate with people they do not know.
- Review posting of photos. Personal photos should not have revealing information, such as school names or location.
- Discuss digital citizenship with your child: if you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t post it online!
- Do not give out any personal information to anyone over the internet, even if you know the individual.
- Know that people are not always who they say they are online. A person who claims to be a 12 year-old female may actually be a 40 year-old male.
- Know what other access your child has to computers and devices like cell phones and tablets.
- Never respond to harassing or rude e-mails. Delete any unwanted messages or friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments.
- Check the privacy settings of the social networking sites that you use.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day of total screen time, which includes computer, television, and video games.
For more information on Internet Safety:
Resources Adapted from information provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children