How do I keep my kid safe on the Internet?

Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It's about helping your kids use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior -- especially when you're not there to answer their questions or check in on where they've ventured. Keep in mind that what may seem like basic knowledge to parents is new to kids just getting started in the digital world. Having a conversation before your kid embarks online helps set expectations and establish ground rules. Here are the basic guidelines to share with your kid:

  • Follow your family's rules about when and where to use the Internet.
  • Be polite, kind, and respectful.
  • Understand a website's rules, and know how to flag other users for misbehavior.
  • Recognize "red flags," including someone asking you personal questions such as your name and address.
  • Never share your name, your school's name, your age, your phone number, or your email or home address with strangers.
  • Never send pictures to strangers.
  • Keep passwords private (except from parents).
  • Never open a message from a stranger; it may contain a virus that can harm a computer.
  • Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens.
Ask Our Experts
Was this answer helpful?
Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts


Parent written by emhm

I am a parent of two children entering their tween years. I feel strongly about knowing where my children are online as they are exposed to a boundless outside world. When I got my 11 year old a mobile device, part of the agreement was that I would be using parental monitoring software to ensure his online safety. I didn't feel the parental controls on the mobile device alone were enough protection given the numerous vulnerabilities out there. After researching the options, I chose WebWatcher since they are the only solution which works across all platforms. It allows me to install on an android, iPhone or any other mobile device without having to jailbreak the phone. I can also use it to monitor what he does from his PC at home. As a working parent, I am not always home and able to monitor his cyber activity. WebWatcher allows me to log into web based reports from any location and see where he visits, what he says or posts and who he is engaging with. While I don't constantly monitor all of his activity, I feel reassured knowing I can check his activity at any given time when I feel the need. It's too much of a risk given some of the tragic stories of cyber crimes against children. I feel it's our responsibility to do everything we can to keep our kids safe in today's digital world.
Parent of a 13 year old written by fleecy34

Keep them off porn hub xvidios and omegal as well as chat rooms put parental controls on so you can keep track of what your child is doing
Kid, 12 years old

I may be 12 years old, but I know a lot about internet safety. First of all, never, EVER ON ANY CIRCUMSTANCES tell any strangers personal information. Second, make sure you have Parental Controls on any of their devices. Third of all, keep track of what they do on the internet. Follow those 3 basic rules and you should be fine
Teen, 14 years old written by A.Critical.Character

There are multiple programs for monitoring and limiting your childs internet access. One My parents used to use on me was Quistodio, it worked really well. Also make sure you have very good virus protection and require an admin password for downloads especially when they start browsing the web or else you could end up with unwanted bugs and viruses on your computer. Be wary about ads and pop-ups. Many ads have things such as "click here to win free ipad" or "everytime you don't click here a kitten dies. " to adults and teens these things are clearing scams and links to viruses. But since kids actions are so directly linked to their emotions they probably won't consult their common sense first or they haven't developed that common sense yet. There will probably also be programs to block or limit ads too but even then they still can't be completely avoided.