Internet Safety Guidelines

The internet is a public space. Everyone has access to the information. Even though a profile or forum may be marked private, unwanted persons can get access by posing as another person.

Make sure to tell your children not to post anything on the Internet that they wouldn’t want the world to know, such as their phone number, address, screen names, or specific whereabouts.

Posting personal information about themselves, their friends, or their family can be dangerous if the wrong person sees it. They should not post anything that would make it easy for a stranger to find them, such as after school activities or local hangouts.

Remind your children not to post anything that could embarrass them later or expose them to danger. Tell them that they shouldn’t post photos or info they wouldn’t want adults to see.

Watch your children when they're online and see where they go. Get to know their "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends.

Check browser history. Search social networking sites. (your child’s name, their friends’ names, the school name).

Make sure your child doesn't spend all of his or her time on the computer. Help them find a balance between computing and other activities.

Learn enough about computers and technology so you can enjoy them together with your kids. Encourage discussions between you and your child about what they enjoy online. This way you can direct your children to safe sites that fit in with their interests and it lets them know you want an active role in their lives.

Make sure that your children feel comfortable coming to you with questions. This should apply to all situations, including the computer. If your children feel they can trust you, they are more likely to come to you with tough problems and questions.

Warn them that people may not be what they seem to be. I can say I'm a 12 year old boy named Billy, but I'm not. The Internet provides a cover for people to put on whatever persona's they desire. Predators often pose as children to gain our children's trust. They should talk to you before meeting an online friend in person, and if you think it is safe, any meeting should take place in public and with friends or a trusted adult present.

Respect your child’s privacy but make certain they know personally everyone on their ‘buddy’ list. Kids need privacy; they also need parental guidance and supervision in daily activities.

Harassment, hate speech, and inappropriate content should be reported. If your children encounter inappropriate behavior, let them know that they can let you know.

Don’t get hooked by phishing scams. Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to try to get your personal information, such as your username and password, by pretending to be a site you trust.

Type your child's name in a Google search. You may be surprised what is linked to your child's name.