As online friendships become popular, our fear of how we can protect our children increases. Here are 5 precautions to take when the child begins with her share of online friendships.

Keep Personal Information Hidden

Advice your child not to share any personal information, when she makes online friendships. This is one of the most important of all safety rules for kids. After all, it is difficult to gauge what the other person’s intentions really are. Furthermore, it is always better to be safe online rather than sorry.

The same rule applies while meeting people online on chat rooms because it is possible to maintain an entire log of the conversation that takes place.

Teach your children not to include one’s name, birth date or geographical location in the chat-name. The more information that is leaked out to a stranger, the more the dangerous it can get. 

Choose Chat Rooms Carefully

It is better to choose chat rooms that have been created by the online service. It is always better to avoid the private ones.

Tell your child that she should let you know if she begins to chat with someone regularly.

Explain that passwords and pictures cannot be shared. Let them know that they should not click on URLs of any unknown links.

Stay Away from Using Webcams

Even though your child may want to make and meet new friends online, explain to her that they are actually strangers. Hence, even if they sound normal or even look so, they may have wrong intentions behind them.

They should also avoid webcam chats. Such chats often the beginning of plans for online predators.

Blocking People is Alright

Teach your child to block the person if she feels that:

  • Someone is passing weird or sexual remarks.
  • Someone is trying to instigate a fight.

Elders to be told before Deciding to Meet an Online Friend

Your child might want to meet an online friend in real life.  As a parent, explain to her that this is best avoided. However, if she is adamant, then it should be done only under adult supervision, during daytime and in a public place.