Parents who are concerned about their children's use of electronic resources should provide guidance. Personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters. Make computer use a family activity. Get to know your child's online friends as well as their other friends.
Talking together, setting rules together, keeping aware of computer services offered, will make using the Internet exciting for you and your child. The opportunities to learn are great. Make the most of them by sharing the online experience with your child.
It is important that you as a parent assume responsibility for your child's online computer use - at home, at school or in the library. Some rules your family may consider adopting are:
- Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name or telephone number.
- Decide whether you want personal information such as age, marital status or financial information revealed.
- Never allow your child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without your approval.
- Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening or that make you or your child uncomfortable.
- If you or your child becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography, report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
- Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
- Remember that everything you read may not be true.