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  1. Communication, communication, communication…talk with your children about the dangers of going online and what to do if they encounter cyberbulling, pornography, unsolicited emails or are threatened in any way online.

  1. Set clear rules about Internet use and post them on or near the computer.
  2. NEVER give out personal information, including their name, age, address, telephone number, school name or family personal information in IM,  chat room conversations, and newsgroups or online games.
  3. If they join Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites, privacy mode must be set and only allow friends they know to chat with them.
  4. Choose an appropriate screen name and discuss the importance of not using their real name or creating an enticing screen name like ‘sexybetty’ or ‘sweetmary’.
  5. Never agree to meet with anyone they meet online.
  6. Talk to them about the dangers of ‘Sexting’ and the impact it can have on their lives.
  7. Explain that people online oftentimes are not who they say they are and can entice them to provide personal information.
  8. Never meet with people they meet online and talk about the dangers of doing so.
  9. Educate them about Cyber Bullying.
  10. Know your child’s screen name.
  11. Encourage them to talk to you if they receive unsolicited email or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  12. Let  them know you will be checking in from time to time to see what they are doing on the computer.
  13. If possible, keep the computer in a family room and pay attention if they close or change screens as you approach them; this is generally a sign they may be doing something inappropriate and don’t want you to see.
  14. Never open email from someone they don’t know…the rule is to delete any unsolicited emails.
  15. Never post inappropriate photos or content on social media websites.
  16. Discuss the dangers to them and their family if they download illegal music, photos, etc.
  17. Know your child’s online friends as you do their other friends.
  18. Encourage your child to invite their friends to your house to play computer games.
  19. Limit the amount of time your child spends on the computer.
  20. Install child-monitoring/filtering software to monitor your child’s online activities.
  21. Remember any website with a chat component could unwittingly play host to predators. Do not let your child surf unattended in a social networking website, even at a well-known or trusted site.

    Internet Service Providers (ISP’s)

  • Ask what safety features and software your Internet Service provider (ISP) provides.
  • Ask what parental controls features they make available.
  • Enable Parental Control features to prevent pop-ups, virus, spyware protection, access to inappropriate websites and time limits.
  • Inquire about how to report suspicious or inappropriate online activity.

    Questions to ask your child’s school:

  • Is computer-monitoring software installed on all computers the children use?
  • Are pornographic sites blocked?
  • How arc children’s activity on the computer monitored?
  • Does the school post kid’s on their website?
  • What is your policy on smart phones?
  • What is their policy on cyber bullying?