For Parents Only
by Donna Rice Hughes
- Establish online rules and an agreement with your child about
Internet use at home and outside of the home (i.e., at a friend's
house, at school, at the library, etc.)
See Family Internet Safety
- Spend time online alongside your child and establish an atmosphere
of trust regarding computer usage and online activities.
- Place your computer in an area of your home where you can
easily supervise your child's Internet activity.
- Regularly ask your kids about their online friends and activities.
Role play with your child various dangerous scenarios that they
could encounter online.
- Implement software tools to protect your family from the
intrusion of inappropriate content and sexual predators.
(See Safety Tools)
- Recognize that chat rooms are the playground of today's sexual
predator. Do not allow your children to into chatrooms.
- Block instant/personal messages from people you and your
child don't know. Regularly check your child's buddy list to
ensure that it has not been altered.
- Do not permit your child to have an online profile. With
this restriction, he or she will not be listed in directories
and is less likely to be approached in chat rooms where pedophiles
often search for prey. (Some Online Service Providers such as
America Online, offer subscribers online profiles.)
- Check with your child's school to see if student projects,
artwork, or photos (where material is identified by name) are
being put on school home pages. Schools often want to post school
newsletters or sports scores, but every time a name or photo
is displayed, there is vulnerability. Schools need to be reminded
of that risk and encouraged to allow access to student activities
posted on the school's website by password only.
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends on the Internet,
and at what times of day. Excessive time online, especially
at night, may indicate a problem. Remind your child that Internet
use is a privilege, not a right.
- Watch for changes in your child's behavior (mention of adults
you don't know, secretiveness, inappropriate sexual knowledge,
sleeping problems, etc.).
- Report any content or activity that you suspect as illegal
or criminal to local law enforcement and to the following cybercrime
hotlines. (Reporting a Cybercrime