Internet Safety

Tips to Keep Kids Safe on the Internet

* Keep the home computer in a shared space, not the child’s bedroom. This allows parents and children to view what is on the computer screen together. It lets your child know that you are paying attention to what they are doing and who they are communicating with online.

* Teach your children that the internet is very much like a shopping mall or public street. There are lots of things to do and see, but not everything is meant for kids and not everyone is safe for them to talk to. They need the guidance of their parents or another adult while they use the internet the same way they need to hold your hand to cross the street or to stay together in a crowded public place.

* Teach your children to never give out personal information to people they meet on the internet. They need to know that people looking to take advantage of children can and do pretend to be different online than they are in real life. Talk to them about how anyone can lie when they fill out profile pages or talk about themselves in chat rooms, instant messengers, blogs, message boards and other social websites.

* Let your children know that reputable websites will not ask children for more than their first name (or a nickname) and an email address (preferably their parent’s email). A child’s or their parent’s last name, address, phone number, school name, parent’s financial information, and parent’s work information are not things they ever need to give out on the internet. Teach them to alert you if they are asked for their personal information.

* Make sure your children know not to download anything from the internet without an adult’s permission. Malicious software and viruses can look like legitimate downloads- be sure to know the source of anything downloaded from the internet. If you’re not certain, wait and find out before downloading.

* If your child has access to any internet connected device (smartphone, tablet, bookreader, etc.) let your child know that you expect the same careful behavior online there as on a computer and that you will be spot checking to be sure that they are surfing safely.

More helpful information about internet safety can be found on the links below:

District Online Safety Pages:

Protect Children from Online Threats
Risks to Children Online
Safe Surfing Tips

More Sites About Internet Safety

I Keep Safe.ORG
Net Smarts Kids.org
On Guard Online.gov
Safe Kids.com

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