How do I keep my kid safe on the internet?

Internet safety is much more than blocking access to inappropriate websites

By Common Sense Media staff
Published January 27, 2018 8:00PM (EST)
Little girl with computer          (<a href=''>Alexander Mak</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
Little girl with computer (Alexander Mak via Shutterstock)

This post originally appeared on Common Sense Media.

Common Sense Media

Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It's about helping your kids use the internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior — especially when you're not there to answer their questions or check in on where they've ventured. Keep in mind that what may seem like basic knowledge to parents is new to kids just getting started in the digital world. Having a conversation before your kid embarks online helps set expectations and establish ground rules. Here are the basic guidelines to share with your kid:

  • Follow your family's rules about when and where to use the internet.
  • Be polite, kind, and respectful.
  • Understand a website's rules, and know how to flag other users for misbehavior.
  • Recognize "red flags," including someone asking you personal questions such as your name and address.
  • Never share your name, your school's name, your age, your phone number, or your email or home address with strangers.
  • Never send pictures to strangers.
  • Keep passwords private (except from parents).
  • Never open a message from a stranger; it may contain a virus that can harm a computer.
  • Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens.

Common Sense Media staff

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