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Cyber Safety Guide for Parents

kidinternet.jpgWhat Can Parents Do?

Set Internet Rules

These questions are the basis for Internet rules.

  1. What sites will you visit? (Set rules for the type of websites your child may visit.)
  2. Who will you talk to? (Set rules for chatrooms, instant messaging, e-mails, and webcam use.)
  3. How long will you be online? (Encourage children to have interests other than Internet use.)

Keep the computer in a common room

This is one of the most important Internet safety messages. Supervision by parents and guardians can be an effective method of protecting children online. Often parents/guardians are more concerned with monitoring television viewing than with allowing unsupervised access to the Internet. Putting the computer in a common room will only be effective if you also actively supervise your child or teen while they are online. Be concerned when your child minimizes a screen when you enter the room.

Communicate

Discuss the importance of telling you or a trusted adult if anything ever makes your child feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused while online

Prepare yourself beforehand

  • Be open with your children and encourage them to confide in you
  • Educate yourself about technologies and use the web!

Safeguard

  • Consider safeguarding options
  • Filtering software restricts access to inappropriate material
  • Monitoring software records websites visited, chat conversations, and other content so you can view what you child is doing

Source: Netsmartz.org

Cyberbullying

  • Teach children not to put themselves at risk by not posting information that can be used against them.
  • Teach children to pay attention to how they are communicating. They should not insult, tease, harass or bully others.
  • Teach children not to hang around online in places where people treat others badly.

If Your Child is Cyberbullied

  • Don't retaliate! This only gives the cyberbully a "win" and could make other people think your child is the problem.
  • They should calmly and strongly tell the cyberbully stop and to remove any harmful material or you will take further action.
  • Tell your child to ignore the bully and block the communication and remove any friendship links.
  • Save the evidence. Try to figure out who the cyberbully is. You can do this by contacting the internet service provider or social networking site.
  • File a complaint with the ISP (internet service provider) or cell phone company. Contact MySpace if the problem takes place there. They have parent links for just such an event.
  • If the person is a friend, contact the bully's parents. Be sure to have evidence of the bullying to show the parents.
  • If the person goes to the same school contact the school principal or counselor. Again, save the evidence of the bullying including screen names, email accounts and all communications.
  • You can contact an attorney to send a letter or file a lawsuit against the parents of the cyberbully.
  • You or the school can contact the police if the cyberbulling includes any threats or is a crime.

Source: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use http://csrui.org