Online and cyber safety tips

You can help your child use the internet safely by learning how to make internet access safe via computer or cell phone, monitoring their use and teaching them about the risks involved.

Child development experts offer the following practical advice to minimize internet dangers:

  • Talk to your child about how to stay safe on the internet as soon as they become involved with the online world. Keep the conversation going as they grow into sophisticated users.
  • Monitor how often your child goes online and set limits together on the amount of screen time allowed.
  • Keep computers in the family room so you can see which websites children are visiting and for how long. Don’t allow children to use mobile phones or other devices in private rooms.
  • Ask your child to let you know if a stranger contacts them or if they feel bullied or frightened.
  • Choose a family-friendly internet service provider, use safe search engines and apply web browsing tools to filter out harmful or distressing material.
  • Become familiar with appropriate sites for children and show your child sites that are fun, interesting and educational.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides an online safety education program, NetSmartz. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help teach children be safer online with the goal of helping children to become more aware of potential online risks and empowering them to help prevent victimization by making safer choices on- and offline.