Issues of teen internet safety are very important for your teen to understand as he or she naturally becomes more involved in social networking sites and other social habits that are based around internet use. Texting, IM, Facebook, and other electronic methods of communication have quickly replaced traditional dating and socializing. It is important that your teen knows the dangers of internet communication and how to stay safe when using these various mediums of communication. It’s also important that you as a parent take an active role in helping keep them safe until they are mature enough to make good choices.
Establish Rules at Home
One of the first things you can do to establish teen internet safety in your home is to set rules with your teen regarding electronic communication. Veto the exchange of addresses and phone numbers on social networking sites and discuss about the importance of communicating only with people he/she knows.
Monitor Computer Use
Parental monitoring is a key part of teen internet safety. Make sure your teen understands that all forms of electronic communications are subject to monitoring. You can and will review the internet sites visited online. Use the history section of your web browser, read text messages on cell phones, review their status updates and their friend list on Facebook, as well any other monitoring you feel is necessary. You can use the parental control features on your internet browser to password protect your browser or to block certain types of websites on your computer.
Enlist Your Teen
Internet viruses are another important subject to talk to teens about. Viruses are often accidentally downloaded after search terms are mistyped, pop-up boxes are accepted, and music or files are downloaded. Talk to your teen about warning signs of viruses such as excessive pop-ups, fake search pages, changes to the internet browser homepage, and slow computer performance. Ask your teen to let you know of any suspicious computer performance that he or she notices so that you can take care of the problem before it becomes worse. With proper education and rules, you can help provide teen internet safety for your teens and the entire family that can deter possible problems in the future.