Every young person should know the risks of using the Internet, and know that a parent or guardian is paying attention. Print out this page and post these simple tips near your computer at home.
- Keep computers in common areas. Any computers, including laptops, should remain in the main living areas of a home.
- Take advantage of content controls. Many software providers and Internet service providers (ISPs) offer technology that helps block inappropriate sites.
- Never share personal information online. Don't post, e-mail or in any way provide personal information to strangers in chat rooms or elsewhere online. Details off limits include: full name, address, phone number, school name or photos.
- Protect your online identity. Don't use e-mail logins, screen names or passwords that reveal personal information, such as name, age or gender.
- Never, ever meet a stranger offline. Under no circumstances should a child or young adult meet in person with anyone they've met on the Internet.
- Monitor Internet activities. Learn how to check Web history and maintain access to e-mail passwords to review online communication.
- Understand social networking trends. Popular sites such as MySpace and Facebook are popular with young people, but have become hunting grounds for Internet predators. Explore privacy settings.
- Talk openly about Internet safety. Parents and kids should spend time together online and check out information resources. Communication is the key.
- Speak up. If a child or young adult feels uncomfortable about anything seen on a computer, he or she should feel safe telling a parent, teacher or another trusted adult.
Finally, don't forget: To report cases of child sexual exploitation - including child pornography and cyber-enticement - use the national CyberTipline. Reports can be made online or by calling (800) 843-5678.