What Can Parents Do?
Set Internet Rules
These questions are the basis for Internet rules.
- What sites will you visit? (Set rules for the type of websites your child may visit.)
- Who will you talk to? (Set rules for chatrooms, instant messaging, e-mails, and webcam use.)
- 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.
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!
- 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
- 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