Computer Crime Division

Child Internet Safety Section

Online Safety Guide
Keeping children safe on the Internet is everyone's job. A little perspective from a parent who's been there

Just as adults need to help kids stay safe, they also need to learn not to overreact when they find out a child or teenager has been exposed to inappropriate material or strayed from a rule. Whatever you do, don't blame or punish your child if he tells you about an uncomfortable online encounter. Your best strategy is to work with him, so you both can learn from what happened and figure out how to keep it from happening again.

The challenges posed by the Internet can be positive. Learning to make good choices on the Internet can serve young people well by helping them to think critically about the choices they will face. Today it's the Internet; tomorrow it may be deciding whether it's safe to get into the car of someone a teen meets at a party. Later it will be deciding whether a commercial offer really is "too good to be true" or whether it really makes sense to vote for a certain candidate or follow a spiritual guru. Learning how to make good choices is a skill that will last a lifetime.

Guide to Online Privacy

While kids are often more computer savvy than their parents -- they can easily sign up for a game or subscribe to a chat room service -- they don't understand the consequences of revealing personal information to strangers. As a rule, children should not reveal personal information about themselves online without a parent's permission. This includes their name, email address, postal address, phone number, photo, school address, etc.

Teach your children about some of the risks involved if they reveal their name, address, telephone number and/or email address online and print out some of these general rules for your children to follow as they surf online. You can help children protect their privacy and themselves if you teach them to be privacy-wise .