Tips for Teens

  1.  Do not give out personal information about yourself, your family situation, your school, your telephone number or your address.
  2.  If you become aware of the sharing, use or viewing of child pornography online report it immediately. Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
  3. When in a chat room remember that not everyone may be who they say they are: Example, that 15 year old girl from California may be a 35 year old man from New York.
  4. If someone harasses you online, says something inappropriate, or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, contact your Internet service provider and talk to an adult that you trust.
  5.  In many states there are laws against cyber-harassment, threats or assaults being sent electronically or posted on blogs.
  6.  A friend you meet online may not be the best person to talk to if you are having problems at home, with your friends or at school. If you cannot find an adult to talk to in your school, church, or through local social services you can call the Covenant House at 1-800-999-9999, to get some help.
  7.  If you are thinking about running away, a friend online (that 15 year old girl) may not be the person to talk to. They may have anterior motives. If there is no adult in your community you feel comfortable talking to then call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000.
  8. Remember that although you don’t always feel that you can talk to your parents, they are there to help. In situations like the ones we listed above, your parents will help.

Tips for Parents

  1.  Keep the computer in a public place, such as family room, kitchen or recreation room.
  2. Reduce the amount of time your child spends online, especially at night.
  3. Consider investing in a good monitoring program, to observe and monitor their behavior online.
  4. Talk to your child about your expectations and the do’s and don’ts of online behavior.
  5. Look for mood changes or changes in behavior, especially withdrawn behavior or sudden unexplained amounts of money.