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Best Practices for Parents
Create rules for Internet use in the home.
Remember that you are the parent. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children; post them near the computer as a reminder. The rules could be as simple as, No Internet unless all homework is done. It's always easier to remember rules if you understand them, so be sure to explain why those rules are important.
Setting Family Computer Rules (one possible suggestion)
Know what your kids are doing online.
Check the Internet history to see which sites your child is visiting. Use filtering and monitoring software on your computer. Remember, it's your family, and you have the power and responsibility to keep an eye on what your kids are doing.
Use the Internet with your kids.
Spend time letting your kids show you what they do online. This can be a great learning experience for both of you. If your kids know something about the website or the Internet that you don’t, ask them.
Don’t allow solitary surfing.
Keep your computer in an open and public room and position the monitor so that it can be seen by anyone in the room. Do not allow your kids to have a computer with Internet access in their room.
If you agree to let your child meet an online buddy in person, go with them.
Be sure to meet in a public spot, and let the buddy know you will be accompanying your child. If the online buddy is against meeting this way, it’s a tip-off that you probably don’t want them meeting anyway.
Don’t rely solely on technology as a substitute for you.
Technology will never replace good parenting. It’s important that we talk to our kids about the dangers that they face online and help them to understand the safeguards that we put in place to protect them.
But where do I begin? Click to find out the first steps you should take to keep your children safe.
Secure Florida also has an Information Kit for Parents and Teachers with helpful links for keeping kids safe online.
www.netsmartz411.org is parents' and guardians' premier, online resource for answering questions about Internet safety, computers, and the Web.
You can also visit the FDLE's Missing Children Information Clearinghouse to receive information about missing children in Florida and to register to receive Amber Alerts.