Cyber Safety Tips

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CYBER SAFETY TIPS
To Keep Your Family's Online Experience Safe 
Cyber safety img  

Laptop with Lock

Criminal with Laptop

Mom with son on laptop

Establish House Rules
 • Clear, simple, easy-to-read house rules should be posted on or near the
   monitor. Create your own computer rules to be signed by adults and
   children and review them periodically.
 • Websites 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.
   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. It is recommended limiting chat room access
   to child-friendly chat sites.

Secure Your Computer
 • Look into safeguarding programs or options your online service provider
  might offer. These may include monitoring or filtering capabilities.
 • 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.
 • Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer. Filtering
   products that use whitelisting, which only allows a child access to a
   preapproved list of sites, are recommended for children in this age group.
   Do not rely on using filters only; education is a key part of prevention.

Making Purchases
 • Always read a website's privacy policy before giving any personal
   information.  Also make sure that a website offers a secure connection
   before giving credit card information.

Education
 • Get informed about computers and the Internet.
 • Let children show you what they can do online, and visit their favorite sites. 
 • Be aware of any other computers your child may be using.
 • 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.

If you suspect online "stalking" or sexual exploitation of a child, report it to your local law-enforcement agency. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a system for identifying online predators and 
child pornographers and contributing to law-enforcement investigations. It's called the CyberTipline®.
Leads forwarded to the site will be acknowledged and shared with the appropriate law-enforcement agency for investigation.