Online Safety Tips for Children

Here are the top ten ways that you can help protect your child online.

  1. Use software safeguards and controls. Fortify your computer with strong security software and make sure to keep it up-to-date. Also, use parental controls that help you filter out inappropriate content and monitor your child’s online activities.
  2. Put your computer in a common area. Make online monitoring easier by putting your computer in a highly visible, well-trafficked area of your home.
  3. Encourage kids to share their Internet experiences with you. Talk openly with children about the risks and benefits of the Internet.
  4. Don’t allow kids to fill out online forms or surveys. Many such sites are phishing for personal information.
  5. Teach kids to ignore emails and instant messages from people they don’t know. Teach children that they should never open attachments or click links in messages whose sender they do not know.
  6. Don’t allow kids to download files from users they don’t know. Kids could be downloading infected files, or inappropriate and/or copyright-protected pictures, games, and music.
  7. Don’t allow kids to use unmonitored chat rooms. As with blogs and social networking sites, kids should never reveal personal information or share photos in chat rooms. Make sure they understand that online friends are still strangers.
  8. Don’t allow kids to meet people they met online. Explain that online friends may not be who they say they are.
  9. Monitor your children’s use of the Internet. Consistent parental involvement is the best way to build secure online habits in children and quickly deal with trouble, should it occur.
  10. Monitor your child’s blog and/or social networking site. Check that your child does not reveal personal information or post inappropriate material online. Many social networking sites provide tools to help protect kids from unauthorized contact. Make sure these tools are operating on your child’s site.

Additional information can be found at Netsmartz for Kids and Netsmartz for Parents