HOW TO USE
INTERNET SAFELY (A guide for parents)
Learn and Get Involved
Use the Internet with your child. Learn who their friends are,
and explore what information they are sharing on their social
networking or other websites. If you are unsure about the
Internet, ask your children to explain what they know. Attend
classes to improve your Internet skills.
Allow your young children Internet access only when you are
present. Consider the use of filtering software. See the
website for more information. However, no filter is foolproof,
and your involvement is key. With younger children, use
child-friendly search directories like
Teach your child how to evaluate information on websites.
Because a website looks official, it does not automatically mean
that its content is true.
Communicate about the online world
Talk to your children about the things that they may encounter
online. Without scaring them, make them aware of web sites with
inaccurate or inappropriate content, as well as the fact that
people sometimes lie online. Let them know that they can talk to
you about anything that makes them upset or uncomfortable, or if
they have accidentally accessed something inappropriate. Remind
them never to meet anyone they have met online without your
permission, and explain the reasons for this.
The Internet as a real world
Teach your child good net-etiquette, and ensure that they
understand that the Internet is a real and public space, with
real laws and consequences.
What personal information to share
Explore with them what information is appropriate to share on
the Internet, and ensure that they do not disclose private
information such as home addresses and telephone numbers,
schools they attend etc of themselves or their friends.
Encourage them to be responsible when posting information (text,
video and photos) about themselves or their friends on their
Social Networking Site, Instant Messenger or other services.
Make sure that they know that information shared online can
sometimes be misused.
Good Practice: privacy, passwords, logging off
Ensure that your child adopts safe practices like setting their
profiles to private; limiting their online friends to those they
well in real-life, keeping their password secret, and logging
off after using services like Instant Messenger or Social
Security and scams
Ensure that the computers in the home have up-to-date anti-virus
and anti-spyware software. See
for more information. Encourage your children never to click on
offers for freebies, or to open emails, files or web pages from
people they do not know, as viruses can be spread unknowingly.
They should also know check with you before filling in online
Be present and set boundaries
Keep the computer in a “family” room, where it is easier to keep
an eye on Internet use. Also ensure that your children do not
become Internet addicts by setting rules about time spent on the
Internet. Encouraging their other interests will also help.