The following are some suggestions of things you can do to help protect your children online.
Tips for parents
Keep the computer or phone in a room other than the child’s bedroom, so you can monitor what your child is doing, and for how long.
Set up an agreement and guidelines with your child about the use of the computer or cell phone, including appropriate schedules and durations.
Understand the services that your child uses online. If you do not understand them, have your child teach you about them, or consult knowledgeable people in your community.
If your child has a social media account (facebook, instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Twitter, WhatsApp, tbh, ect.) you may want to consider requiring your child "friend you" on the account and/or give you their login information.
Warning signs that your child may be at risk online
- Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.
- You find pornography on your child’s computer.
- Your child is receiving phone calls from people you don’t know, or is making phone calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you do not recognize.
- Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from people you do not know.
- Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.
- Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.
Tips for children Do not give out personal information such as address, telephone number, parents’ work address or work telephone number, or the name and location of your school without your parents’ permission. If you ever encounter something online that you don’t understand or that makes you uncomfortable, tell a parent or teacher right away. Never get together with someone you met online without getting your parents’ permission first. If a meeting is decided, be sure that it is in a public place and that you bring one or both parents along. Do not send any picture of yourself to anyone without getting your parents’ permission first. Do not respond to any messages that make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault if you get a message like that, and it is okay to tell your parents no matter what it is. Follow the rules that your parents set for computer and Internet use. Always make sure it is okay to go online before you do so. Remember that people may not always be who they say they are.
- Your child is using an online account belonging to someone else.