Tips for Parents
The Attorney General’s office provides training and assistance to parents, educators and other adults on the best ways to teach children how to stay safe online.
- Make sure 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 people they meet online are not always who they say they are.
- Let children know 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.
- 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 a 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- A child becomes withdrawn from family and friends.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.