A Parent's Guide to Online Safety

As the Internet becomes more common in homes across America, children are using the Internet earlier and earlier. Kids use the Internet for everything from entertainment and games to communication and homework. As they get older, they will undoubtedly begin to experiment with downloading music or videos and exploring socials networking sites. The more they explore online, the more they are at risk from predators and the more they put your PC and privacy at risk. The better educated you are about online risks, the more you will be able to keep your children safe. Webroot has conducted research about the gap between parents' perceptions and kids' online reality. We also have a handy for you to help you keep your children safe online.

10 Things You Can Teach Kids to Help Improve Online Safety

Before you allow your children to go online without your supervision, make sure you establish a set of rules that you can all agree on.

If you're not sure where to start, here are some ideas on what to discuss with your kids to teach them about using the Internet more safely:

  • Encourage your kids to share their Internet experiences with you. Enjoy the Internet along with your children.
  • Teach your kids to trust their instincts. If they feel nervous about anything online, they should tell you about it.
  • If your kids visit chat rooms, use instant messaging programs, online video games, or other activities on the Internet that require a login name to identify themselves, help them choose that name and make sure it doesn't reveal any personal information about them.
  • Insist that your kids never give out your address, phone number, or other personal information, including where they go to school or where they like to play.
  • Teach your kids that the difference between right and wrong is the same on the Internet as it is in real life.
  • Show your kids how to respect others online. Make sure they know that rules for good behavior don't change just because they're on a computer.
  • Insist that your kids respect the property of others online. Explain that making illegal copies of other people's work - music, video games, and other programs - is just like stealing it from a store.
  • Tell your kids that they should never meet online friends in person. Explain that online friends may not be who they say they are.
  • Teach your kids that not everything they read or see online is true. Encourage them to ask you if they're not sure.

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