“Don’t talk to strangers.”
This is a common rule that parents have enforced for generations. However, it should equally apply to children who spend time on the internet. With a growing number of online predators, parents must take necessary steps to ensure their children use the internet safely and responsibly.
• Don’t put a computer in your child’s bedroom.
• Take the necessary time to become technologically savvy if you are not already. Learn common chat room lingo.
• Clearly communicate which websites your children can and cannot visit. Make sure to post your rules next to the computer.
• Check any online profiles your child may have, and make sure the profile does not have any identifying information.
• Know your child’s passwords and screen names.
• Always use parental controls provided by internet service providers, browsers, and search engines.
• Do not allow your child to meet with anyone he or she has communicated with online unless you are present.