Parents need to take responsibility for their children's use of the internet and minimize potential risks.
Family Rules for Computer Use:
- Never giving out identifying information, such as address, school name or telephone number.
- Be aware of what your child is doing online, what sites he or she is visiting.
- Make sure that children know not to give out their pass words to anyone other than their parents.
- Make sure that children know not to send their picture to anyone they meet online.
- Make sure that objectionable material is blocked from the computer.
- Never allow a face-to-face meeting with someone the child meets online.
- Never respond to online messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or feel uncomfortable. Teach your child that, if he or she encounters something like this, they will tell you.
- If a child receives a harassing message or something of a sexual nature, inform the service provider, giving them a copy of the message.
- If you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography, immediately report this to the CyberTipLine online or call 800-843-5678.
- Help your child understand that a person who identifies him or herself in a certain way online may be lying (12-year-old girl may be 40-year-old man).
- Teach your child that what they see online may not be true.
- Keep child computers in a family room with the screen facing the door. Make computer use a family activity.
- Make sure you know your children's online friends just like you know their other friends.
- Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use. Discuss these with your child. Post them near the computer.
- If a child is using the computer excessively or late at night, this may be a clue that the child has a potential problem.
- Computers are not meant to be electronic babysitters.