- Keep the computer in a public room. Do not put it in the child's bedroom where it is difficult for you to monitor what your child is doing online.
- Instruct your child not to give out personal information online such as their full name, address, telephone number, or school information.
- Talk to your children about what they are doing online. There is no substitute for parental supervision. Be aware of what type of activity (Chat rooms, e-mail, and Instant Messages) your child is involved in online.
- Use either the parental controls built in by your Internet service provider or purchase programs such as Net Nanny, Surf Watch, Cyber Sitter, or Cyber Patrol that install parental controls on your computer. These programs prevent children from entering areas of the Internet that are not appropriate for children. They also block certain types of files from being sent to your child.
- Set safety rules that you and your child understand and post them by the computer.
- Limit the amount of time your child spends online. Late night times or excessive use of the computer by a teenager may signal a problem.
- Remember that everything you read online may not be the truth. Any offer that is too good to be true probably is not true. Don't lose your common sense just because you're online.
- Never give out your personal information online such as your full name, address, telephone number, where you go to school, or where your parents work.
- If someone says something or you see any information that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell your parents right away.
- Never send someone a picture of yourself without checking with your parents first.
- Don't answer messages that sound angry or make you feel funny. You cannot prevent these from being sent to you - just don't respond to them and tell your parents about them.
- Remember that everything you read online may not be the truth.