Talk to Your Children about their ONLINE Lives

Prepare your children for the online world just as you would for the real world.

  • Establish guidelines and rules.
  • Know who communicates with your children.

Explain to your children that Instant Messenger (IM) is only for chatting with school and family friends who they know by face and are approved by you.

  • Make sure they can put a face to every screen name on their IM "buddy list.”

Learn about the Internet.

  • Familiarize yourself with the programs your children are using.
  • Consider using Internet filters or blocks.

65% of incidents happen in chatrooms.

  • Reinforce that people are not always who they say they are when online.
  • Make sure your children know how dangerous it is to give out personal information such as their name, mailing address or E-mail address.
  • Stress the fact that it is not safe to get together with someone they first "meet” online.

Place the family’s computer in a common room where supervision and guidelines are met.



Limiting your children’s computer time is not enough to safeguard them on the Internet.

  • Talking about the benefits and dangers on the Internet and making sure your children are making smart decisions while online is also important.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children