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Internet Safety

Child Safety on Social Media Sites and the Internet

Social media sites can be a great way for teens to keep in touch with friends, however, both children and parents need to be aware of the dangers of posting identifying information or photos that strangers can access.Technology changes rapidly, so users should stay abreast of updates and changes to social media sites. Users should always guard personal information and ensure they are engaging in safe online behavior.

How to reduce risks to children using the Internet.

Children need a certain amount of privacy, but they also need parental involvement and supervision in their daily lives. Parenting skills that apply to the “real world” also apply online.

  • Talk to your children about internet safety.
  • Seek out advice from teachers, and librarians among others.
  • Get online yourself. Become proficient in Internet use.
  • If your child tells you about an upsetting message, person, or Web Site encountered online, don't blame your child but help him or her avoid problems in the future.
  • Remember—how you respond will determine whether they confide in you the next time there is a problem.

Guidelines for Parents

  • Never give out identifying information. Use email addresses that do not spell out your name.
  • Keep the computer in a family room rather than the child's bedroom. 
  • Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. 
  • Find out your child's online activities, whether they have an email account.
  • Learn their user names and passwords.
  • Get to know your child's online friends.
  • Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting on the Internet without your knowledge.
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening or make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Remember that everything you read online may not be true.
  • Remember people online may not be who they seem.
  • Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use for your children.
  • Consider applying these guidelines to cell phone use and other aspects of your child's life.

Useful Links:

Cyber Tipline from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Privacy and Internet Safety Advice from Common Sense Media

How to Keep Your Child Safe Online from Maths Doctors, London

Cyber Security for College Students from CyberDegrees