The CIA is committed to keeping children safe on the Internet. We encourage parents and teachers to be involved in children’s Internet explorations and offer the following tips:
- Tell your children to never give out personal information (e.g., their name, home address, school name or telephone number) in a chat room, on online bulletin boards, or to online pen pals that you have never actually met.
- Explain to your children that the Internet provides anonymity and allows people to misrepresent themselves. Tell your children never to set up a meeting with someone without your permission.
- Encourage your children to alert you if anyone has made them feel uncomfortable or frightened in online correspondence. Discourage them from sending a personal picture to anyone without your permission.
Additional suggestions to help your children stay safe on the Internet are listed below:
- Instruct your children to create hard-to-guess passwords at least eight characters long, using both letters and numbers.
- Update anti-virus software regularly, and install firewall software or hardware, particularly for high-speed use.
- Make sure you or your children never open any attachments from senders you don’t know.
- Have your children alert you when something bad happens, and also notify your Internet service provider or software vendor, if necessary.
- Surf the Internet with your children at times and talk to them about the sites they visit.