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Internet Safety Tips for Parents

  1. family room - young girl with a laptop Keep the Internet computer in an area of your home that is public and busy. Often the kitchen is just such a place. put   the computer where  you will be able to keep an eye on it at all times. Never put it in your child's bedroom.
  2.  Be or become technologically savvy. But if you are not yet, pay attention to, be interest in, and ask questions about   what your child is doing. Also learn to recognize common chat-room lingo.
  3.  Set rules about what your child is allowed to access online, how often and for how long. Post the rules next to the computer. Talk with your child about your rules. Have consequences for broken rules.
  4.  Talk with your child about what s/he does online and ask to see his or her profile. Make sure that your child's Internet profile does not have any identifying details, provocative photos, or comments indicating that the child is seeking attention. Remember that information on the Internet can live a very long time and be seen by anyone. If you would not want that creepy person on the bus, your child's future college admissions officers, or future employers to see it, then your child should not post it.
  5.  Know your child's passwords and screen names. Instruct children to give passwords only to people that they know and trust.
  6.  Make sure that your child feels comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns. do not overreact or blame!
  7.  Do not store your credit card information on your computer where children have access to it.
  8.  Use parental controls provided by your Internet service provider, your browser, and search engines. Realize that these may be insufficient. Personal involvement is the ultimate parental control. Also, find out what computer safeguards are utilized at your child's school, and at the homes of his or her friends.
  9.  Emphasize the importance of having a balance of interests and activities. Encourage and model desired behavior such as reading, playing out of doors, and socializing with friends face to face.
  10.  Realize that the ways in which a child uses the Internet and other computer technologies will change with the age of the child. So that concerns appropriate for a six-year-old are not necessarily appropriate for a child of twelve.