Yet, even with all of the rules in place, your child's safety starts at home. So explore the Internet together! There are endless resources available that offer Internet safety tips, like:
http://www.fbi.gov/kids/k5th/safety2.htm and http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/net_safety.html.
Here are a few other tips to get you started:
- Establish a set time of day your kids can be online - also, the length of time, and sites they are allowed to visit.
- Reassure your kids so they feel comfortable about coming to you any time they are uncertain about what they see online.
- Report questionable sites to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Block kids from chat rooms using safety features provided by your ISP or with special filtering software.
- You may choose to enable the search history on your computer so you can follow along with your child's interests and advise them of unsafe places they may have visited.
- Make sure you know about other locations your child has access to the Internet, and set the same rules there, too.
- Never give out personal information, like your name, home address, phone number, photos or passwords. If anyone ever asks for it, tell an adult immediately!
- Never talk to strangers - that goes for online too! Even if they seem nice - it doesn't mean they really are!
- Never make plans to meet somebody you met on the Internet. This is a very important rule to emphasize!
- Never respond to a threatening email or message. If a person writes something that is mean or makes you feel uncomfortable, log off immediately and tell a parent! Parents will always listen to kids better than strangers, no matter what!
- Nothing you write on the web is totally private. So be careful about what you type and be careful who you tell. There's a chance someone can read it if they really want to!
- If ever you feel unsure, or uncomfortable with an Internet situation, ALWAYS log off and ask a parent for help!