Teach your child how to avoid trouble in the future
Whatever you do, don't blame or punish your child if he or she tells you about an uncomfortable online encounter. Your best strategy is to work with your child or teen to learn from what happened and keep it from happening again. The best way of preventing crime on the Internet is education and awareness. Kids must learn to make make safe choices and recognize online trouble for themselves. Explain to your child or teen that people can lie about their identities on the Internet, and that online "buddies" should not be treated like friends that we know and trust in the real world. Kids should know that revealing any personal information -- like hometown, name of their school, names of family members -- can be dangerous. Most importantly, get involved in their online experiences and make surfing the Internet a family activity. There is no substitute for parental guidance. For more tips about online safely, go to the Safety Guide section.