- Be aware of any other computers your child may be using.
- Children should not complete a profile for a service provider and children's screen names should be nondescript so as not to identify that the user is a child.
- Clear, simple, easy-to-read house rules should be posted on or near the monitor. Create your own computer rules or print the Internet Safety Pledge. The pledge can be signed by adults and children and should be periodically reviewed
- Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer. Filtering products that use white listing, 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.
- Get informed about computers and the Internet.
- Have children use child-friendly search engines when completing homework.
- If children use chat or email, talk to them about never meeting in person with anyone they first "met" online.
- If you suspect online "stalking" or sexual exploitation of a child, report it to your local law-enforcement agency. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a system for identifying online predators and child pornographers and contributing to law-enforcement investigations. It's called the CyberTipline®. Leads forwarded to the site will be acknowledged and shared with the appropriate law-enforcement agency for investigation.
- Internet accounts should be in the parent's name with parents having the primary screen name, controlling passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
- Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home.
- Know who children are exchanging email with, and only let them use chat areas when you can supervise. NetSmartz recommends limiting chatroom access to child-friendly chat sites.
- Let children show you what they can do online, and visit their favorite sites.
- Look into safeguarding programs or options your online service provider might offer. These may include monitoring or filtering capabilities.
- Talk to children about not responding to offensive or dangerous email, chat, or other communications. Report any such communication to local law enforcement. Do not delete the offensive or dangerous email; turn off the monitor, and contact local law enforcement.
- 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.
- Websites for children are not permitted to request personal information without a parent's permission. Talk to children about what personal information is and why you should never give it to people online.