Washington TownshipMontgomery County, Ohio

Cyber Safety

Contact our Department

  • Washington Township Substation 8190 McEwen Road 
  • Dayton, Ohio 45458 
  • Non-emergency: (937) 433-0152 

A Parents Guide

We live in a connected world. From laptops to smart phones and tablets, the internet and social media are a swipe or a click away. Just as you teach your children to beware of strangers, it's important to protect them from online dangers -- from pedophiles to con-artists, hackers and cyber bullying..

Photo of kidsGetting Started

Explain that although a person may be alone in a room, once on the Internet, he or she is no longer alone. People can be skilled in finding out who you are and where you are and can tap into information on your computer.

Set aside time to explore the Internet together, with a focus on web sites for children. If your child is able, allow him or her take the lead.

Controlling Access

The best tool a child has for screening materials on the Internet is his or her brain. Teach children about exploitation, pornography, hate literature, excessive violence, and other issues that concern you, so they know how to respond when they see this material.

Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features. These can block content that is not clearly marked as appropriate for children -- including social media, chat rooms, bulletin board, news groups, and discussion groups. Or, it can block internet access entirely.

Purchase blocking software and design your own safety system. Filters for computers and smart phones can block sites by name, search for unacceptable words and block access to sites containing those words, block entire categories of material, and prevent children from giving out personal information.

Monitor your children when they're online -- including phone use -- and monitor the amount of time spent. If a child becomes uneasy or defensive when you walk into a room or look over his or her shoulder, this could be a sign that something is up.

Tell Your Children

In addition to these tips, the Department of Homeland Security offers information about cyber security for kids:

  • What constitutes cyber bullying and what the consequences are, both for the perpetrator and the victim. 
  • To always let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening online.
  • Never to give out their name, address, telephone number, password, school name, parent¹s name or any other person information.
  • Don't check in to a location on social media
  • Never to agree to meet face to face with someone they've met online.
  • Never to respond to messages that have bad words or seem scary or just weird.
  • Never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
  • Never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.

What You Can Do in the Community

Make sure that access to the Internet at your children's school is monitored by adults.

Know your children's friends and their parents. Talk to the parents about the rules they have established for internet access and find out if the children are monitored while online.

Make sure that your child's school has an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). This policy should include a list of acceptable and unacceptable activities or resources, consequences for violations, and a place for you and your child to sign. Your family can design its own AUP on the home computer.

If your child receives threatening e-mail or pornographic material, save the offensive material and contact that user's internet service provider (ISP) and your local law enforcement agency.

If your come across web sites that are inappropriate for children, send the addresses to online services that offer parental control features or to sites advertising protection software. This will enable them to review the site for inclusion or exclusion and can help protect other children even if you don't subscribe to the service..