Not surprisingly, many kids are more adept at using a computer and the Internet than their parents.
- If you have your own website, don't post photos of your kids online. It's a great way for predators to identify your kids and be able to locate them.
- Teach your kids not to give out any personal information online. This includes information about themselves and other family members. Personal information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mails addresses, passwords or credit card numbers.
- Encourage your children to talk with you or a trusted adult if they see something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or if someone they don't know sends them inappropriate material.
- Kids can be very trusting. Make sure you talk to them about the good and bad sides of the Internet. Explain who online predators are and why it's important for them not to talk to strangers online. It's also critical for them to understand that they should never arrange to meet a person they've met online.
- Cyber bullying is a serious issue that is growing among pre-teens and teenagers. Talk to your kids about it. Make sure they understand that there can be serious consequences for harassing others online. In addition, encourage them to tell you if someone makes disparaging comments or threatens them online.
- Contact law enforcement immediately if your children receive any pornography or they are sexually solicited online. If your children receive phone calls from strangers, talk to them and call the authorities if appropriate.