A Parent's Guide to CyberSafe Kids

The Internet can be a fun and exciting place filled with learning tools and resources for your child to explore. Children who have access to online services, whether in or outside the home, enjoy learning about a wide variety of topics, communicating with friends and family by e-mail, chatting with other computer users, and surfing the Web.

However, although the Internet offers many positive things, there are times when surfing the Net can also be dangerous. Unless you take adequate precautions, your child might encounter material you find objectionable.

Rules of the Road

Just as you wouldn’t send your children near a busy road without some safety rules, you shouldn’t send them to the information superhighway without the rules of the road.
  1. What To Do First
  2. Basic Safety Guidelines
  3. Safety Products
  4. Using the Internet

What To Do First

  • Set up a master account in your name and do not give your child the password. Many services allow you to create separate screen names for children, allowing you to block access to inappropriate areas.
  • Place the computer in a room where the whole family usually gathers together, such as the family or living room. This will make it easier for you to keep an eye on your child’s Internet activities. Make it clear that if you cannot see what they are doing online, then they cannot do it.
  • Discuss with your child ways to handle certain situations ahead of time. For example, discuss what to do if someone sends them a message over the Internet that scares or threatens them or makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Consider using blocking software. Many of these products will allow you to control your children’s access to certain areas on the Internet.