What's Lurking Behind The Screen?
Today's kids are more computer savvy than any other generation, and most young people know how to navigate the web better than their parents. Although the Internet is an amazing tool for information, research, games and socializing, there are also countless dangers out there.
Parents need to remember that they don't know everyone who is coming into contact with their kids via the computer. Having an open and frank discussion about potential dangers is essential for the safety of your child.
Here are the top 10 safety tips parents should discuss with their children before they log on:
Personal information must remain private, at all times, no exceptions
Information like your child's real name, age, address, phone number, school name and location should never be shared.
Photographs should be tasteful and appropriate
Pictures posted online should be modest, approved by parents and not reveal personal information.
Use screen names whenever possible
Using a different moniker will allow your children to maintain anonymity and protect them from having an online acquaintance track them down in real life.
Passwords are private
Website and email passwords should not be shared with anyone except parents. This can prevent hacking or other problems.
Never accept a face-to-face meeting with someone you met online
Let your children know they are never to meet with someone in person that they met on the Internet. This is one of the most dangerous things a child can do.
People online lie
Not everyone online is who they say they are. People on the Internet can pretend to be something or someone they are not to lure unsuspecting victims.
Report questionable activity
Make sure your child knows to immediately log off the computer and inform you if they encounter anything or anyone suspicious while online.
Set guidelines and expectations
Bookmark sites that are acceptable for your children to visit and let them know which sites they are prohibited from. Determine the amount of time they are allowed to spend on the Internet daily. Establish consequences if rules are not followed.
Keep computers in a common area of the house
When computers are in open areas, children are less likely to visit inappropriate sites or participate in unacceptable activities.
Install parental filters
Know what sites your children are visiting and password-protect sites that are not acceptable for your family.
More online safety tips for kids