Keeping Kids Healthy Advice
Make online rules for your child and post them near the computer. Also, monitor your child’s internet activity and visit the sites where he or she goes.
Tell your child to never give out personal information, such as last name, phone number, address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name or location of his or her school without your permission.
Make sure that your child knows that his or her password should be kept a secret from anyone except for you. Passwords should never be given to anyone online or even to friends.
Tell your child to never agree to meet with anyone he or she has met online.
Do not allow your child to send photos of his or herself to people over the internet without checking with you first.
Tell your child not to respond to any messages that make him or her feel uncomfortable in any way. Tell your child that he should let you know immediately if he or she receives an email or chat message that makes him or her feel uncomfortable.
Tell your child not to accept any gifts or offering of gifts from someone online. Compare gifts from people online to those offered by strangers and make sure your child knows that just because he or she thinks that know someone that they have met online, they do not.
Make sure that your child knows that name calling, cursing, or other unacceptable language should not be used when talking on-line.
Tell your child that he or she should always ask you before downloading anything or before filling out an online guestbook.
Tell your child that if he or she accidentally comes across an adults-only site online, he or she should leave the site immediately and tell you what happened.
Do not allow your child to chat unless he or she goes to a site that you approve of – there are child-safe sites where children can chat, but there is always the possibility that an adult can be posing as a child on these sites.
Have your child show you what he or she does online and keep the computer that he or she uses in an open place where you can monitor his or her activity.
Consider using filtering or monitoring software on your computer that can allow access only to sites that you pre-approve.
If you suspect that your child is a victim of online stalking or if your child has received any inappropriate communications online, contact your local law enforcement or visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) website at www.cybertipline.com. NCMEC works with law enforcement agencies and reports tips concerning potential online predators to them. The site is also a resource for online safety tips.