Last updated 10:55 AM on 15 September 2011
Get off to a safe start to 2009 by reminding your child some important online safety rules.
- Keep computers in a common family room - not in bedrooms!
- Remind your child to keep information such as their name, address, phone number, school and even your credit card number to themselves. When signing up to a chat room, they should use a screen name that is a nickname and not easy to work out. The same goes for choosing passwords - don't make them easy to figure out. If your child is going to put photos on the Internet, ensure they don't show them wearing their school uniform - this can be enough to identify your child's school. Also ensure that any photos are not the type that would attract unwanted attention from strangers.
- Make sure your child uses multiple sources for research and is careful not to plagiarise.
- Stranger danger is online too - Ensure your child never organises to meet up with any strangers that they have met online. Remind your children to also be wary opening emails from strangers too. They could contain spam (online junk mail), a virus (which will harm your computer), or be from a stranger looking for trouble.
- Get a filter! Internet filters can help block inappropriate sites for children. You can download a free filter at www.netalert.gov.au.
- Encourage your child to talk with you about their online experiences - good and bad - This will make it easier for them if they see something inappropriate or are emailed something unsuitable.
- Life online works better when people maintain good manners and treat each other as they'd like to be treated.
- A lot of blogs and websites maintain information as part of cyberspace forever - long after your child may have changed their minds about "hating boys" or whatever is the hot topic of the day. By publishing without thinking of the future, your child's innocent work online may be something that comes up down the track and negatively impacts their career and personal life.
More great information to help you keep your child safe online can be found at:
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