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Internet Safety for Parents or Caregivers


  • Dad and girl with a laptop on the couchNever post photographs of your children on websites or newsgroups that are available to the public.
  • Consider encouraging children to use a pseudonym when using email or chat.
  • Avoid listing your child’s name and email address in any public directories or profiles.
  • Find out about your ISP’s privacy policies and exercise your options for how your personal information may be used.
  • Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. If you don’t know how to log on, get your child to show you. Have your child show you what he or she does online, and become familiar with all the things that you can do online.
  • Encourage children to use sites recommended on the Library’s homepage and teach them to avoid sites you consider unsuitable.
  • Provide guidelines for children on the amount of time they spend on the Internet just as for watching television. Excessive use, especially late at night, might mean there is a problem. Do not use online services as an electronic babysitter.
  • Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can’t see or even hear the person it would be easy for someone to misrepresent him or herself.
  • Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without a parent or guardian present. If a meeting is arranged, make it in a public place, and accompany your child.
  • Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Instruct your child not to click on any links that are contained in E-mail from persons they don’t know. Such links could lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.
  • If someone sends you or your children messages or images that are obscene, lewd, filthy, or indecent with the intent to harass, abuse, annoy, or threaten, or if you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or
  • Check out blocking, filtering, and ratings.
  • Be sure to make this a family activity. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child’s bedroom. Get to know their "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends.