Prevention Tips

What Can Parents Do?

  • Keep an open communication with your child about their online activities. Have a positive discussion with your child about Internet safety.
  • Start this communication as early as possible and age appropriately, e.g.
    • What’s your favorite thing to do online?
    • Show me the funniest YouTube video.
    • Let’s play your favorite online game.
  •  Some things you can ask are:
    •  What sites will you visit?
    •  Who will you be talking to online?
    •  How long will you be online?
  •  Instruct your child:
    • To never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online;
    • To never upload or post pictures of themselves onto the Internet or onto an online service for people they do not personally know;
    • To never give out identifying information, such as their name, home address, school, or phone number;
    • To never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images;
    • To never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing;
    • That whatever they are told online may or may not be true;
    • To not respond to offensive or dangerous email, chat, or other communication;
    • To tell you if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused; and
    • To keep the offensive or dangerous posts as evidence and contact your local law enforcement.
  • Keep the computer in a common area
  • Monitor your child’s online activities
  • Be aware of what your child is posting online
  • Consider time limitations on electronic communication
  • Become computer literate and get to know the services your child uses
  • Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer
  • Share an email account with your child so you can view his or her emails