Psychology Can Help

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What can parents do to promote safe use of the internet?

Teens may be reluctant to tell adults what is happening online or on cells because they fear restrictions, fear greater retribution, is counter-intuitive to their need for independence from adults, and/or most important they can be emotional traumatized with an intense sense of shame.

  1. Keep your child's computer in an open area of the house.
  2. Instruct your child never to give out any personal information online to someone they do not know. Explain that people are not always who they say they are.
  3. Make sure your child knows they should not respond to offensive or dangerous emails. Encourage your child to follow three simple steps: Stop, Block, and Tell:
    "Stop" the correspondence immediately; responding can make the situation worse
    "Block" the user from sending additional emails
    "Tell" a parents or trusted adult about the situation
  4. Visit the web sites your child visits. Spend time familiarizing yourself with their online world, ask them to show you what they like to do online.
  5. Be a responsible cyber citizen. Make sure they know to use good manners, be respectful of others, and be safe.