Tips for Parents

There are specific things you can do to help keep your own teens safe. Start by getting involved! Educate yourself on how the Internet works and keep tabs on your child’s computer use.


• Create a written Internet safety plan. Set rules for the Internet and email use. Include specific strategies for what your teen will do if they are sexually solicited online, or if they are frightened by an online encounter.
• Remind your teen not to disclose personal information online.
• Draft a list together of what not to share, including name, age, school, phone numbers, home address, and photos.
• Talk frequently with your teen. Discuss their online friends just as you would about their other friends.


• Keep the computer in a common area of the house. This makes it easier to monitor computer use.
• Ask your teen to tell you right away about uncomfortable online experiences, with assurances that you will not be angry if she or she confides in you.
• Consider filtering or monitoring software. While they can help you control your teen’s online use, these devices are no substitute for parental involvement and supervision.
• Be aware your teen might be using computers at school, public libraries, and friends’ homes.


• Know the signs of “grooming.” When someone initiates online contact with a young person with the intention of establishing a sexual relationship, its called “grooming.”
• If you suspect online “grooming” of your teen or of any other child, report it to your local law enforcement agency.
The Internet can be a great research tool and a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family. But going online also presents some possible dangers that you need to know about. Here are some ways you can steer clear of trouble while using the web.
• Nothing is private
• Be smart
• Knowing when to tell an adult about an uncomfortable internet interaction.