10 Online Safety Tips for Parents

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Protect your child from online dangers and predators. These 10 tips will keep the internet friendly and fun.

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1. Discuss the Dangers

Teach your child about the hidden dangers of the internet. Assure him that he can talk to you about anything and everything he may find online. Remind him that you can help block unwanted e-mails or websites.

2. Create Safety Rules

Establish rules for using the computer and the internet. If you don't want to make up your own rules, use the Internet Safety Pledge by NetSmartz Workshop. Print it. Sign it. Post it by your computer.

3. Track Your Child's Online Identity

Have your child introduce you to his online identity. Ask him to show you what he searches for, what chatrooms he enters, and who he speaks to. Does he have multiple e-mails? A social networking account? A personal website? Review these with your kid to make sure he is safe.

4. Control Your Accounts

Parent Alert: Control internet accounts by putting them in your name. Set up personalized safety features by controlling passwords, filtering content, and blocking websites.

5. Caution Your Kid About Online Friends

Caution: The people kids meet online often pretend to be kids or teenagers so they can meet and hurt kids and teenagers. Therefore, your kids should NEVER meet in person with anyone whom they first meet online.

6. Protect Personal Info

Remind your child to never send personal information out over the internet, whether it be sent through instant message or posted on a public site. Talk to your child about what personal information is and why he should protect it. Never give out your full name, address, phone number, or information about appearance.

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7. Communicate with Caution

Warn your child to not answer or respond to any dangerous chats, messages or e-mails. Report any suspicious or offensive online communication to authorities. Save the e-mail - it can be used to track down the offender.

8. Remember that Your Internet Presence is Hard to Erase

Even though it seems so easy to delete something online, files can still be retrieved after being erased long ago. Advise your child to think twice before posting or e-mailing online.

9. Share Photos with Prudence

Does your child have a webcam, or is he posting personal photos to an e-mail or website? Remind your kid that the internet is public, and pictures shared online can easily be accessed by everyone. Discuss which photos he really wants others to view.

10. Create Safe Screen Names

Does your child's screen name identify anything personal about him? Help your child choose a screen name that is safe. Tell him to never use his last name in a screen name. Don't choose a screen name that identifies your kid as a child.

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