Online Safety Tips For Parents - Part 2
5. Be aware of the sites your children visit, & the chat rooms they go into. As they get older, trust should build. Encourage discussions between you & your child about what they enjoy online. Always be open. Take time & visit some of these sites that they enjoy (if the children are younger).
6. Make sure that your children feel comfortable coming to you with questions. When things go wrong, don't overreact. Let them know that it's not their fault. Educate yourself on what to do when things do go wrong.
7. IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a chat program that is very different from America Online. IRC has no terms of services like AOL, so people can talk about whatever they want & are generally not restricted. This is good & bad. It is good because its users can speak freely about whatever they want. It is bad because your children are not protected from obscenity & pedophiles. An AOL user could have their membership suspended or terminated for using obscene language, flaming, or stalking, but an IRC user could not. Some channels on IRC have channel rules, but this is the exception. That's why it is not recommended that parents let their children use IRC unless they are directly supervised.
8. Remember to monitor your children's compliance with your rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. Be clear about your rules. Once you have discussed them with your children, you may want to post them on the computer or in another place near the computer where they can read them while they surf. It will help them remember.
9. Get to know your child's "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends. Ask about who is on their buddy list & whom they talk to most frequently. This way you get a feel for whom they are talking to.
10. Warn your children that people are not always what they seem to be. Discuss this with them & be open. Parents & children can both be teachers. By having open discussions about safety, dangers, advantages, & disadvantages, you & your child can learn from each other.