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Online Safety for Children and Teenagers

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) cares about community safety and sharing resources to keep families and children safe. During social distancing it is likely that more school-age children will increase their time online playing games or using social media. We encourage everyone to be sure of the importance of online safety.

Please see the below guidelines for parents to keep in mind for themselves and also to share with children on how to stay safe while they learn, play, and communicate online.

Basic guidelines for parental supervision:

  • Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.
  • Keep the computer in a common area where you can watch and monitor its use, not in individual bedrooms. Monitor any time spent on smartphones or tablets.
  • Bookmark kids' favorite sites for easy access.
  • Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
  • Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.
  • Contact local law enforcement if you hear of or see any offensive material that was directed at a child or if any predatory behavior towards a child takes place

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Basic guidelines to share with kids for safe online use:

  • Follow the family rules for behavior and length of time on social media sites and online gaming
  • Never post or trade personal pictures.
  • Never reveal personal information, such as address, phone number, or school name or location.
  • Don’t chat with strangers and also avoid “friending” anyone you don’t know
  • Use only a screen name and don't share passwords with anyone (other than with parents).
  • Never agree to get together in person with anyone met online without parent approval and/or supervision.
  • Never respond to a threatening email, message, post, or text.
  • Always tell a parent or other trusted adult about any communication or conversation that was scary or hurtful.

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