One of the best ways to help teenagers learn and practice Internet security is to bring up the topic of Internet safety with them. Communication is an effective way to help teenagers use the Internet safely. Parents or other responsible adults should talk with teenagers about online reputation and sexting, online bullying and cyber security. Teens should also be made aware of the safe use of smart phones and cell phones when accessing the Internet, email and social networking web sites.
Parents and other responsible adults electing to use parental controls should follow some important suggestions. Discussions with the teenager should begin with expectations about safe, responsible Internet usage. This also should include established family rules and consequences if the rules of Internet security are broken. In order to encourage teenage responsibility while online, teens should be informed and warned that parental controls will be installed on their phones and computers. Teenagers deserve an explanation about the need for parental controls and the responsible adult should give them one. They also should be informed that their Internet usage would be monitored or scanned periodically. Parental controls are used to establish trust between the parent or other adult and the teenager.