Nowadays a lot of kids have a cell phone, laptop, tablet or computer of sorts to access the internet. Keeping your children safe online is just as important as keeping them safe anywhere else.
With so many social networking sites and unsafe websites available there are precautions you can take to help keep your child protected from online predators.
Start by talking to your children about how, where and with whom they communicate.
Make sure they understand that there is certain information about themselves, family members and also friends that should be kept private. They should never give out personal information or any family financial information.
Remind them frequently: Once they post something, they cannot take it back!
Become an Internet Savvy Parent! Get to know the social networks that your kids are active on so you understand their activities. Advise them to avoid websites that they are not familiar with. These sites can be appealing to predators. Surf the net with your children and let them show you what they do online. Then set perimeters.
Use privacy settings, most social networking sites, chat rooms, etc. have settings that can be set to restrict whom your child can and can’t communicate with. Screen names should not revel too much about who they are, and they should never use an email address as a screen name. Review your child’s “friend” list to make sure they are people they actually know.
Cyberbullying has become a serious problem taking place 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Be aware of what is on your child’s page and read the comments. Your child should not react to the comments, but keep records if it persists. Block or delete the person from any friends or email lists.
Kids.gov states that cyberbullying is a crime when a message contains: threats of violence, pornography or explicit messages or images of person where the person expects privacy, like the bathroom.
Keep the communication open with your child and stay current with their online activities to make sure they are following the Rules!