Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

Browsing the Internet is like having the world's largest library and entertainment system at your fingertips. Kids are able to read stories, tour museums, visit other countries, play games, look at photographs, shop, and do research for school work.

You can't watch your kids every minute of the day. You need to develop strategies to help them use the Internet positively and to avoid potential problems.

By exploring the Internet with your kids, you greatly expand its capacity as an educational tool. By providing guidance and discussion along the way, you increase kids' online skills and confidence along with their ability to avoid potential risks. You may surprised by what your kids can teach you.

Potential Risks

  • Kids may come across websites containing adult images or demeaning, racist, sexist, violent or false information.
  • It is hard for kids to distinguish reliable sources of information from less reliable ones. Some believe because information is posted online it must be true.

Tips to Minimize Potential Risk

  • Choose search engines carefully. Some are specifically designed for kids, and others offer kid-safe options.
  • Tell kids when they come across any material making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused to immediately tell you or another trusted adult.
  • Help kids find information online. By searching the Internet together you help them find reliable sources of information and distinguish fact from fiction.

Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer filters to prevent kids from accessing inappropriate websites. Contact your ISP about what safe-search options they offer. Remember, as a consumer you have a right to choose an ISP with the services meeting your family's needs.