Clear, simple, easy-to-read house rules should be posted on or near the monitor. Create your own computer rules or go to Netsmartz.com and print out Internet safety pledges located at Internet Safety Pledge.
Look into safeguarding programs or options your online service provider might offer. These may include monitoring or filtering capabilities.
Web sites for children are not permitted to request personal information without a parent’s permission. Talk to children about what personal information is and why you should never give it to people online.
If children use chat or e-mail, talk to them about never meeting in person with anyone they first “met” online.
Talk to children about not responding to offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat, or other communications. Report any such communication to local law enforcement. Do not delete the offensive or dangerous e-mail; turn off the monitor, and contact local law enforcement.
Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home.
Get informed about computers and the Internet.
Let children show you what they can do online, and visit their favorite sites.
Have children use child-friendly search engines when completing homework.
Know who children are exchanging e-mail with, and only let them use chat areas when you can supervise.
Be aware of any other computers your child may be using.
Internet accounts should be in the parent’s name with parents having the primary screen name, controlling passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
Children should not complete a profile for a service provider and children’s screen names should be nondescript so as not to identify that the user is a child.
Talk to children about what to do if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused. Show them how to turn off the monitor and emphasize that it’s not their fault if they see something upsetting. Remind children to tell a trusted adult if they see something that bothers them online.
Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer. Filtering products that use white-listing, which only allows a child access to a pre-approved list of sites, are recommended for children in this age group.