Online Safety Tips - Setting Limits

  • Think about setting rules for cyberspace the same way you set rules for your teen's activities in the larger world:
  • Caution your teen about the risks of talking to or engaging with people he/she doesn't know well. Let him/her know of the dangers involved.
  • Emphasize the importance of privacy: tell your teen not to give out his/her full name or other personal information online.
  • Develop clear rules about what kinds of places and activities: Web sites and chat rooms  are off-limits, and set consequences for breaking them.
  • Keep computers out of the bedroom. Putting the computer in a public place sends a clear message that using the Internet is not a private activity.
  • Learn about tools that can promote Internet safety and allow you to oversee what your teen is doing online.
  • Remind your teens, especially young teens, that the Internet can be unsafe. One in five kids has been sexually solicited online. Encourage teens to be wary of direct communication from people they don't know in chat rooms, forums, peer to peer networks, bulletin boards and email. Tell them not to meet with anyone in person that they first met online or to respond to messages that make them uncomfortable.
  • Try to become Internet savvy. Supervise your teen's online activity just as you would his/her schoolwork.  Visit Web sites and chat rooms your teen has been to.
  • Set priorities about Internet use. Homework first, then entertainment.
  • Limit screen time to a reasonable amount each day.
  • Don't forget about Instant Messaging. Regularly review your teen's IM list with him/her and get rid of anyone he/she cannot identify.
  • Engage your teen in positive Internet use. Ask him/her to research topics of relevance to the family, and to teach younger siblings how to use the Web safely and responsibly.
  • Know that your teen can get online in other ways, such as through a cell phone, video game consoles, at school, at a friend's house or a public library, and remind him/her that your rules apply inside and outside your home

Source: Parents:The Anti-Drug 

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