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Internet Safety Tips

​This information is included in our Guide to Parenting in the Digital Age. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

Almost any child that has access to a computer has equal access to the dangers of the Internet. Recent events in the news highlight these dangers. That's why it is imperative that you be informed on how to protect your children when they're online.

The following tips are excerpts from 20 Internet Safety Tips for Parents provided by Lynette A. Battaglia, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland:

​Internet Safety Tips for Parents:

  1. Become computer literate and be actively involved in your children's online experiences.
  2. Place computers in high-traffic areas, not a child's room.
  3. Use screening software.
  4. Read unfamiliar e-mails. Monitor telephone and modem changes. Check out unfamiliar phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  5. Don't allow children to spend long periods of time on the computer, especially at night.
  6. Help children understand that online users may not be who they claim to be or who they seem to be. Get to know your children's Internet friends.
  7. Tell children to report anything they come across online that seems strange or makes them uncomfortable especially if they are ever asked personal questions or invited to personal meetings.
  8. Tell children to report to you suggestive, obscene or threatening e-mail or bulletin board messages. Forward copies to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and insist they help deal with the problem.
  9. Be concerned if children mention adults you don't know, become sensitive, or appear to have inappropriate sexual knowledge.
  10. Post the Internet Safety Rules for Kids by your computer.

Internet Safety Rules for Kids:

  1. ​Never give out personal information, such as your name, address, school name or address, or parents' or teachers' names or addresses.
  2. Never create online profiles.
  3. Never visit chat rooms or join an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) without permission.
  4. Never go to private chat rooms or meet online friends in a private online setting.
  5. Never go to new Web sites without permission.
  6. Never respond to rude or offensive e-mail, instant messages or postings.
  7. Never post, send or receive pictures (usually files that end with GI, jpg, jpeg, or tiff).
  8. Never meet online friends in person without a parent present.​
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