In the next couple posts, I'd like to discuss things parents can do to protect their children online. Most importantly, parents should monitor what children are doing online. This is most easily done by keeping the computer in a common room in the house, as opposed to the child's upstairs bedroom. It is much more difficult for your child to hide what he or she is doing from you if the computer screen is easily seen by any member of the family. Parents should also maintain access to their child's accounts. This may be a controversial point for some, but I would suggest that it's better to have an angry child in the short term than take your chances with what might happen if you're not involved. Most children won't like it at first, but parents should have the passwords to their child's email and social media accounts and check them frequently for inappropriate messages. Be upfront with your child about why you want access to his or her account. Explain that you're only doing this to protect him or her from internet dangers, not just trying to spy on what he or she is doing. Additionally, use the parental controls or blocking software provided on your computer, but don't solely rely on these to keep your child safe. Check back soon for the follow up post which will cover additional tips and pointers to address internet safety for children.