1. Never give out any personal information (includes SIN#, full name, school attended, email address, home address, telephone number and parent's occupation or mothers maiden name or local points of interest like a mall or park.
Teach your child to say the following:
· “I won’t give you that information.”
· “I don’t know.”
· “I forget…just a second, I’ll ask my mom to come in.”
2. Reject online private chat rooms. When using online instant messaging programmes, ensure they only accept invitations from people they know and be sure to block random strangers.
· Do you know your child’s MSN name?
· Does your child have a
· Does a stranger know the answers to these questions and you don’t?
3. Tell your child/teen never to arrange to meet anyone. Consider sticking a reminder note on the computer. Tell stories about predators and kids/teens who met them. Together with your kids watch Dateline NBC “To Catch a Predator.”
4. Speak to your Internet Service Provider about their safety features. You may find you are able to regulate use of the internet and block access to sites. If you do block access to a particular site then discuss your reasons with your child/teen.
5. Remember that even if you have blocks in place, that your child/teen may still find a way around them. By being open with your child/teen, your child/teen may be open and trustworthy in return.
About the Author: Monique Howat is a youth motivator.
Check out Monique's school or parent workshops at:www.confidentgirlsguys.com