For the most part, the Internet is a rewarding place for both kids and teens, but the potential risks to their privacy and personal safety are real. While surfing the Web, your children may stumble upon disturbing information or images, or they may innocently accept or share files that could expose your family to Internet thieves or computer viruses. They may encounter cyberbullies who try to embarrass or intimidate them. Even worse, your children may unknowingly communicate with child predators, who use the Internet to befriend vulnerable children by pretending to be another child or a trustworthy adult and then try to persuade them to meet in person.

Social-networking sites are beginning to add additional safeguards for young users. Security software also offers some protection. But being aware of the risks and engaging with your children about safety are the most important things you can do to keep your family safer online. See the links and resources below for information from the AAP and other organizations that specialize in keeping children and adolescents safer online.
AAP Resources

Talking to Kids and Teens about Social Media and Sexting

Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace
Tips and actions parents can take to ensure their child's safety on the Internet.

The Internet and Your Family
Information to help you teach kids the basics of the Internet, including Internet safety.

Media Education policy statement
Recommendations from the AAP on children's use of media, including the Internet.

Media Time Family Pledge
Use this as a starting point for your family’s needs. The goal is to incorporate technology into our lives in a meaningful way that allows a healthy balance of online and off-line time.


Links and Resources for Parents

Growing Up Online
FRONTLINE on PBS released a new program discussing how the Internet is transforming childhood.

Common Sense Media
Google and Common Sense Media have teamed up to create a video of common sense tips and rules for families to help keep their children safe online.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
This organization offers tips for children and teens about Internet usage, as well as information for parents on keeping kids safe online.

The federal government’s website offers help for being safe, secure and responsible online.

The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource to teach kids and teens how to stay safer on the Internet. For Parents: NetSmartz411 and hotline #888/638-7411

iSAFE America
iSAFE is a non-profit organization who offers Internet Safety education and materials for students, teachers, parents, and law enforcement.
Wide range of information on computer, gaming and Internet safety. Materials for kids, teens and parents.

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition group teaches basic rules of Internet safety to children and parents. Governors and/or first spouses formed this coalition in partnership with crime prevention organizations, law enforcement agencies, foundations and corporate sponsors.

WiredSafety is an online safety, education and help group that focuses on assisting law enforcement on preventing and investigating cybercrimes education, providing information on online safety, privacy and security.

Safety is No Game. Is Your Family Set? Make a PACT Today!
A tool to help promote healthy and balanced media use. From Microsoft and National PTA.

Childnet International
A non-profit organization working with others to help make the Internet a fun and safe place for children.

Center for Media and Child Health
Conducts and advances scientific research on the effects of media on young minds and bodies; develops and evaluates clinical interventions; and educates children, parents, and the public on media and their effects on the physical, mental, and social health of all children.

See Windows Family Safety Software Information

External Resources are not a part of the AAP.ORG Web site. AAP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAP. Linking to a Web site does not constitute an endorsement by AAP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

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