I recently attended the Child Protection Class in St. Dominic’s which is conducted by the Archdiocese of Mobile. The class provided some really useful information, including the following list of Internet Safety Tips for Children, which I wanted to share:

Keep the Computer in a family common space, making it easier to what sites the child is visiting online.

Talk to your child about where he/she has been and what he/she has seen online.

Talk to your child about what to do if he/she ends up on a site that makes them feel uncomfortable or if they receive messages that are inappropriate. Turn off the monitor and tell you about the incident.

Become familiar with the way the Internet works and with popular teen sites.

Check into and use filtering or tracking software and parental controls.

Limit the amount of time your child spends on the Internet.

Use Internet “incidents” as opportunities to communicate — not as platforms for endless lectures.

Young people are curious. Don’t be surprised if your child has deliberately or accidentally viewed inappropriate things online. Let them know they can talk to you.

Make sure your child has a clear understanding of how you feel about online pornography and your expectations for responsible Internet use.

*Tips adapted from the Archdiocese of Mobile Children and Adolescents Protection Program training manual.