Cyber Safety for Parents
The Attorney General’s Community Engagement Department provides training and assistance to children, parents, educators and others on the best ways to stay safe on the Internet. Below are recommendations for parents whose children go online.
As mobile phone use increases, children also face risks when exchanging text messages or photos, or accessing the Internet via phone.
To request a presentation from the Attorney General’s office on cyber safety, contact the Community Engagement Department at (800) 448-3014.
- Make sure that children keep passwords, pictures and personal information to themselves.
- Remind children never to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they first met online.
- Teach children not to post anything on the Internet that they would not want others to see.
- Help them remember that people they meet online are not always who they say they are.
- Let children know that they should not say anything online that they would not say in public.
- Tell them not to respond to messages that are inappropriate or make them feel uncomfortable in any way.
- Encourage children to tell an adult if they ever encounter a problem online.
- Children should never reply to anyone in anger.
- When bullied online, remember to tell children to “stop, block and tell.” Stop replying, block the sender and tell someone. Similar rules apply to text messages.
- Messages should be saved and shown to a trusted adult.
- Be a friend — children that know someone is being cyberbullied should be encouraged to let parent know.
- Parents should consider reporting the cyberbullying to local law enforcement authorities.
- A child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.
- Pornography is discovered on a child’s computer.
- A child talks by phone or texts to unknown adults or others with unrecognized phone numbers.
- A child receives mail, gifts or packages from an unknown person.
- A child turns off a computer monitor, changes screens on the computer or tries to hide the phone when parents enter the room.
- A child becomes withdrawn from family and friends.
- A child uses an online account belonging to someone else.
Protect Children from Online Predators
- Talk to children about sexual victimization and the potential of online danger.
- Keep the computer in a common room of the house, not in a child’s bedroom.
- Utilize parental controls available from Internet service providers or use blocking software.
- Always maintain access to a child’s online account and monitor email.
- Teach children the responsible use of online resources.
- Find out the computer safeguards being utilized at school, the library and at friends’ homes.
- Never arrange a face-to-face meeting for a child with someone they met online.
- Never automatically assume that what a child is told online is the truth.