Internet Tips For Parents






SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD MAY BE AT RISK


  • Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night


  • You find pornography on your child´s computer


  • Your child turns the computer monitor off quickly or changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room


  • Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don´t know


  • Your child receives phone calls from people that you do not know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don´t recognize


  • Your child becomes withdrawn from the family


  • Your child is using an online account belonging to someone else





TALK TO YOUR KIDS


  • Let your children know that they can talk to you about anything online that makes them feel uncomfortable


  • Tell your children not to respond when someone offers them something for nothing, such as free software, gifts or money


  • Remind your children that the people they chat with are still strangers


  • Bear in mind that people may not be who they seem.

    Because you can´t see or hear people online it´s easy for an adult to pretend they are kids


  • Remember, how you respond to your children will determine whether they confide in you the next time they encounter a problem







SET RULES



  • Set reasonable rules and guidelines for your children before they venture out on the Internet


  • Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a reminder


  • Work together to decide what is and is not appropriate


  • Try to enlist children´s cooperation and self - regulation wherever possible.   For example, have your children write and sign a statement agreeing not to visit certain Web sites


  • Discuss software and Web sites with your children







NEVER



  • Never allow your child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission


  • Never give out information about your child such as home address, school name, telephone number, age or any other personal information


  • Never use your child´s name or E-mail address in any public directories or profiles


  • Tell your children to never respond to threatening or obscene messages


  • Tell your children to never click on any links that are contained in e-mail from persons they don´t know.    Such links could lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate web sites


  • Never post photographs of your children on web forums that are available to the public







AS A FAMILY



  • Make Internet use a family activity


  • Keep the computer in a family room rather than in the child´s bedroom


  • Spend time online with your children


  • Get to know your children´s "online-friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends


  • Get to know your children´s favorite sites


  • Talk with your children about what you like and dislike about the sites they visit, as a way of reinforcing your values


  • Be an involved parent.   Monitor your child´s online activity just as you would the shows they watch on television, the games they play or the movies they see.





WHAT YOU CAN DO



  • Ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) whether they offer filtering services to families with young children


  • If not check out filtering software that you can purchase for a modest cost


  • Ask your ISP provider about their privacy policy and exercise your options for how your personal information will be used


  • If your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or is threatening, forward a copy to your ISP provider, and ask for their assistance.
    Also be sure to contact the local police or District Attorney´s Office


  • Getting online yourself will alert you to any potential problem that you children may incur while on the Internet


  • If you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately notify the police, and contact the District Attorney´s Office


  • You should also report it to the National center for Missing and Exploited Children´s CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or www.missingkids.com/cybertip






Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office
32 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02301
508-584-8120