Internet Guidelines for Families

  • For Parents, Families, and Caregivers
Family on Computer


  1. Place computers in shared family rooms. Establish a consistent, helpful presence when monitoring children’s and teen’s computer use that discourages the perception that adults are violating children's and teen's privacy.
  2. Be aware of children's/teen's online activities. Initiate discussions about their online experiences.
  3. Discuss with children/teens the dangers of sharing personal information with others online and continually reinforce the importance of this guideline. Clarify the kinds of things (information and photos) that should never be shared, including names, addresses, phone numbers, names of schools, age and grade levels.
  4. Provide children/teens with opportunities for skill development and the necessary tools and resources to assess the accuracy of Web site content. Spend time visiting Internet sites with children/teens and provide supervised opportunities for children/teens to practice these skills online.
  5. Instruct children/teens to immediately notify the appropriate authorities (parent or other adult family member, teacher or other school personnel, librarian, etc.) when they encounter cyberbullying or other hate behaviors online.
  6. Discuss and provide opportunities for children/teens to practice strategies for responding to cyberbullying and online intolerance and hate. Distinguish between immediate strategies (logging out of chat room) and long-term strategies (notifying the local Anti-Defamation League office or police department about information on a Web site).
  7. Restrict time children/teens spend online, and provide guidance for structuring online time. Limit unstructured random surfing and consistently supervise children’s/teen’s online activities.
  8. Model safe use of the Internet, avoiding potentially dangerous situations, including online romance and gambling. Children/teens are keen observers of adult behavior and will do likewise, despite warnings to the contrary.
  9. Stress personal responsibility in children/teens. Knowledge and education are key weapons against cyberbullying and other forms of hate and intolerance.