While the Internet offers children unique opportunities to explore and learn, parents and guardians should also be aware of the many risks. Online tools may be used by sexual predators, cyberbullies, and scammers to communicate with children, get them to reveal personal information, or to expose them to inappropriate content.
The more you learn about your children’s online life and safer online behavior, the better you will be able to protect them from online risks. Take the time to learn about popular Internet applications and technologies which interest your children and consider the following steps for your family:
- Keep the computer in a common room, not in a bedroom or basement
- Establish a safe-computing contract with your child using the NetSmartz Internet Safety Pledges
- Set limits for time spent online and encourage other activities
- Consider installing monitoring, filtering, and blocking software
- Teach your child to respect him or herself as well as others both on- and offline
Take a proactive approach and talk to your kids about online safety today! Visit the NetSmartz Workshop® at www.NetSmartz.org. NetSmartz is an educational safety program from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®.