Some tips on how to protect your children:
- Become computer literate and learn how to block objectionable material.
- Keep the computer in a common area, not in individual bedrooms, where you can watch and monitor its use.
- Share an email account with your child so you can monitor messages.
- Bookmark kids' favorite sites for easy access.
- Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.
- Forbid your child from entering private chat rooms; block them with safety features provided by your Internet service provider or with special filtering software. Be aware that posting messages to chat rooms reveals a user's email address to others.
- Monitor your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
- Find out what, if any, online protection is offered by your child's school, after-school center, friends' homes, or anyplace where kids could use a computer without your supervision.
- Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.
- Forward copies of obscene or threatening messages you or your kids get to your Internet service provider.
- Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678 if you're aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography online.
- Contact your local law enforcement agency or the FBI if your child has received child pornography via the Internet.
- Chatting with kids about being online
General safety tips
- DO NOT use or have email addresses or screen names that identify your age, gender, or interests.
- NEVER divulge personal information such as age, home address, schools, etc.
- NEVER post pictures of yourself
- DISABLE saving or storing "cookies" in your browser