Top Internet Safety Tips for parents and kids

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.    Start having “The Talk” as part of your regular “Back to School” preparations (see “Internet Safety: Taking care of your children 101”)

.    Set secure and complex passwords on all computers and mobile devices, especially cell phones

.    Be aware of your teen’s online life (social networking sites, photographs, private information, club and sports activities) whether on their site, a friend’s site, or their school’s web pages ex. Ask if they really know everybody on their ‘friends’ list

.    Whenever possible, keep computers and cell phones in a common area in the house and not in your children’s bedroom

.    Perform a web search on your children and show them what you find. Or do a search on yourself as a teachable moment and be honest about anything you find that is objectionable. After all, your kids may have already “Googled” you! You can also set up a Google or Yahoo! Alert

.    If you or your child is being cyberbullied: DON’T respond. A response gives the bully or bullies the reaction they seek. Silence will confuse them. If your child gets asked, “Did you see that post or message?” teach them so say they didn’t, or even say, “My mom was working on my computer last night. Maybe she saw it.”

.    Use only online photo services that provide security protection, and be careful with where you post your pictures

.    Remember to Stop. Think. Connect.

.    Establish House Rules for your family about how you’ll use technology and set limits

.    Regularly review online statements and accounts for banking, credit cards, cell phones and other services for suspicious activity

.    Limit what you share online and use privacy and security settings wisely. Don’t list private information in public online locations and only post appropriate photos and videos

.    Be kind online. Let your online activities be an example to others. Take things down if others ask. Report Cyberbullying

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