Online Media Safety Tips
Talk to Your Kids
One of the most important things you can do to empower your children about online safety issues, is to talk to them. Talk about the benefits and risks of the Internet. Make them feel that it’s OK to ask you questions or talk to you if they run into problems online. Build guidelines around Internet use just as you would for other activities. Be proactive in finding out who your kids are talking to online. Help them make smart decisions while they use the Internet.
Keep Your Computer in a Public Area
Keep your computer in a public area of your house, not in a bedroom or behind closed doors.
Never Reveal Personal Details Online
Talk to your kids about the importance of their personal information. They should never disclose personal details that would allow someone online to contact them in real life. This includes full name, address, phone/cell number or email address. It also includes things like their favourite hangout, restaurant, or places where they might be playing sports. Also, kids should never send photos of themselves over the Internet to someone they don’t know.
People in chat rooms may not be who they say they are
It’s best to keep chat room conversations in the “public” area of the chat room. They can move to private rooms where they can have one-to-one conversations and these can be dangerous—this is also known as whispering. Discourage whispering with strangers where unknown chat room users can have an opportunity to build a relationship with your child. They should never arrange to meet someone they have met online in real life. If they do, they should take an adult and meet in a public area.
Information provided by the Canadian Red Cross – "Protect Your Child Online Program”. For more information, please visit www.redcross.ca