Keeping Your Daughter Safe Online
Your teenage daughter's world revolves around the Internet - she chats with her boyfriend, watches all kinds of videos, downloads her favorite music and does research for school. To her, the Web is just a harmless, everyday part of her life. But all parents know the many dangers that can lurk on the other side of the computer screen. Here are a few ways to help keep your daughter safe online, so she can do ... whatever it is that she does.
- Keep the computer in a public area of the house. The possibility of your walking by at any moment will make her less likely to engage in risky online behavior.
- Monitor your teen's Internet history and cell phone calls. Examine the Web sites she visits and the phone numbers she calls. As the parent (and as the adult paying the bill), you have the right to check.
- Talk to your daughter about Internet scams and online predators. You don't want to scare her, but you do want her to understand the reality of the issue. Using current, related news stories or articles is a good way to bring up the topic.
- Tell her that the "don't talk to strangers" rule from when she was a kid still applies online. If she doesn't know the person who sent an e-mail or instant message, she shouldn't reply.
- Let your daughter know that it's O.K. for her to come to you if she ever sees something inappropriate or upsetting, whether it was intentional or not. Keeping lines of communication open between the two of you is the best way to keep her protected.
- Watch for changes in your teen's Internet usage habits. If she spends most of her time online at night, changes the screen quickly when you enter the room, or receives or makes phone calls to numbers you don't recognize, talk to her right away.
You want your daughter to be able to live her life with a reasonable amount of freedom and privacy. But you also want her to stay safe and happy. Just remember, as an actively involved parent, you are the greatest barrier against online scams and predators.
If you found this helpful, these articles and forums might help, too:
Article: How Your Body Image Influences Your Daughter's
Article: Mom & Daughter Changing Together
Forum: Family Matters