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Computer Safety tips for parents of high school students

Talk with your teens about what the can and cannot do online.

Be reasonable and set reasonable expectations: Try to understand their needs, interests and curiosity. Remember what it was like when you were their age.

Be open with your teens and encourage them to come to you if they encounter a problem online. If they tell you about something they encountered, your first response should not be to blame them or take away their Internet privileges. Work with them to address the problem and do not be afraid to contact appropriate authorities – whether it is the school or law enforcement.

Learn everything you can about the Internet. Ask your teens to show you their favorite sites.

Make sure your children set their Facebook account (or similar social networking sites) to private.

You may want to require them to make you a friend on Facebook.

Talk with them about “sexting”. Tell them if they receive a “sext” they should delete it, and certainly never forward one. At best, it is mean and disrespectful. At worst, they could be committing a crime.

Remind them that whatever they post on the Internet is there forever, even if they delete it, and can have negative consequences for college, job searches and their future.

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