DHS encourages all parents to follow these common sense steps to protect your children online.
- Create an open and honest environment with kids.
- Have regular conversations with kids about practicing online safety.
- Emphasize the concept of credibility to teens: not everything they see on the Internet is true and an people on the Internet may not be who they appear to be.
- Watch for changes in behavior — if your child suddenly avoids the computer, it may be a sign of being bullied online.
- Review security settings and privacy policies for the websites kids frequent. These settings are frequently updated so check back regularly.
- Make sure mobile devices are secure.
- Use PINs and strong passwords, only install apps from trusted sources, and understand the privacy settings and permissions for all apps.
For more information about protecting children online, visit the Stop.Think.Connect. Chatting with Kids about Being Online booklet. For additional resources, access the Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit.