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Internet Safety

Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

  • Never post your personal information, such as a cell phone number, address, or the name of your school.
  • Be aware that information you give out through instant messages, e-mails, social networking sites and blogs could put you at risk of victimization.
  • Never meet in person with anyone you first “met” online. Some people may not be who they say they are.
  • Remember that posting information about your friends could put them at risk.
  • Never respond to harassing or rude e-mails. Delete any unwanted messages or friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments.
  • Never give out your password to anyone other than your parent or guardian.
  • Only add people as friends to your site if you know them in real life.
  • Think before posting your photos. Personal photos should not have revealing information, such as school names or location.
  • Check the privacy settings of the social networking sites that you use.
  • An interactive educational safety resource is available for children ages 5 to 17 at www.netsmartz.org.

General Internet Safety Tips for the Home

  • Computers should always be in a common area of the house. Never place a computer with internet access in a bedroom or secluded area of the house, particularly not in a child's bedroom.
  • Instruct your children to only talk on-line with friends they know personally.
  • Instruct your children to not give out personal information on-line such as first or last name, phone numbers, home address, and names of parents, and not to post or send photos of themselves, their homes, their room, their family, their friends, etc.
  • Remind your children that an on-line friend may be someone posing as a child or young person. If this person likes everything the child says and does, thinks the child is always right and is unusually supportive, it's time to be cautious. If the on-line friend encourages the child to keep the chats secret from parents, this is a big red flag. Child sexual abusers quickly key in on tensions between children and their parents and quickly move in to fill that vacuum.
  • Instruct your children to discontinue any on-line chat that makes them uncomfortable or has any sexual overtones.
  • If you suspect your children are chatting with a sexual predator on-line, talk openly with them about the dangers of computer-sex offenders. Pay attention to what is on your children's computers, and who is calling your children by phone.

More Resources For Information On Internet Safety available at:

Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force

INOBTR.org Internet Safety

Top 50 Acronyms Every Parent Needs to Know

A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

www.safekids.com

www.getnetwise.com

www.safeteens.org

Child Help USA

Internet Safety Fact Sheet

Rainbow House can provide more education on internet safety. For more information, please call Brenda Porter, CAC Director or Kelsey Louder, CES Director at 573.474.6600