By: Ryan Pingel
- Talk to children about not responding to offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat, or other communications. Report any such communication to local law enforcement. Do not delete the offensive or dangerous e-mail; turn off the monitor, and contact local law enforcement.
- Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home.
- Know who children are exchanging e-mail with, and only let them use chat areas when you can supervise. NetSmartz recommends limiting chatroom access to child-friendly chat sites.
- Internet accounts should be in the parent's name with parents having the primary screenname, controlling passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
- Talk to children about what to do if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused. Show them how to turn off the monitor and emphasize that it's not their fault if they see something upsetting. Remind children to tell a trusted adult if they see something that bothers them online.
- Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer. Filtering products that use whitelisting, which only allows a child access to a preapproved list of sites, are recommended for children in this age group. NetSmartz does not advocate using filters only; education is a key part of prevention.