- Keep the computer in a centralized location. Your child is less likely to browse questionable content if he or she knows any member of the family could walk by at any second. This helps you monitor time spent online, chosen activities and online behavior.
- Limit usage. Permit your child to have free online time for, say, 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon to IM friends, play games or visit social networking sites, but after all, it is summer; don’t let online time cut into time spent playing outside or family time.
- Do your homework. Check browser history to know where your child goes online. Use security tools and privacy features for extra protection. You can also subscribe to an online service that offers parental control features or purchase blocking software that utilizes passwords and parental controls.
- Be open with your child about the Internet. Tell your child that he or she can confide in you about something he or she has seen without the fear of being punished. Tell your children to always let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening. Talk about your suspicions and about online dangers. Explore the Internet together.
- Give your children certain safety guidelines. Make sure they know never to give out personal information, like their name, address, phone number, date of birth, school name, parents’ names, credit card information, etc. Make sure they know they should never meet face to face with someone they meet online, or send someone their picture without asking for permission from you. Make sure they know not to post that on social media when they are away from home. They also should get permission before going to a new website for the first time.
- To prevent excessive charges, they should never enter an area that charges for services without asking first. They should never download games without asking permission.