Keeping an open line of communication between you and your children is key to helping them stay safe online.
- Help your children feel comfortable coming to you if something makes them uncomfortable or scared.
- Talk honestly about Internet dangers.
- Make sure children understand what personal information is and why they should guard it.
- Share your online activities with one another.
- Agree on clear, simple rules for technology use that apply no matter where you are.
- Identify what websites are okay and when they can and can't be visited.
- Talk about what is and isn't appropriate online behavior.
- Larry Magid & Anne Collier (2007), MySpace Unraveled
- Our family has rules about going online, they are...
- How big is the Internet? What happens to the information you put online?
- Have you ever seen or read anything online that makes you feel uncomfortable? It's okay to talk to me about that.
- Do you know how to get out of a situation that makes you uncomfortable? Close the program and talk with me. I won't get mad - together we can keep you safe.
- Net Cetera
Chatting with kids about being online from OnGuardOnline.gov.
- Communication Tips for Parents
Tips from Family Education.
- Talking to Tweens
Communicating with kids aged 9 to 14 may require an especially compassionate approach. This site from Pearson Education Inc. offers tips for establishing better communicate with your tween.
- Communicating with Teens
Teens need support as well as independence. This site from Pearson Education Inc. offers tips for striking a good balance when you communicate with your teen.
Safety Pledges, Rules of the Roads and Parent-Child Contracts
- K-3 NetSafe Pledge (PDF) | Word
- 4-6 NetSafe Pledge (PDF) | Word
- 7-12 NetSafe Pledge (PDF) | Word
- Safety Pledges
Age-appropriate safety pledges were created by Netsmartz for parents and guardians to facilitate in-depth discussions about internet and real-world issues with children.
- Family Contract for Online Safety
Parents and kids should agree on the "Rules" for Internet use. Here are two pledges that both kids and parents can take.
Know the Lingo
- Online Lingo/Acronym
View a list of commonly used Acronyms used by kids in text messeging, instant Messenger (IM) and chat rooms.