Most chat programs allow parents to control whether people on their kids' contact list can see their status, including whether they're online.
Some chat and email accounts allow parents to determine who can send messages to their kids, and block anyone not on the list.
Talk to your kids about the importance of these settings, and your expectations for who should be allowed to view their profile.
Set high privacy preferences on your kids' chat and video chat accounts, as well.
Get to know the social networking sites your kids use so you understand their activities.
If you're concerned about risky online behavior, you may want to search the social sites they use to see what information they're posting. Try searching by their name, nickname, school, hobbies, grade, or community.
In fact, researchers have found that predators usually don't pose as children or teens, and most teens who are contacted by adults they don't know find it creepy. You teach your kids to be polite offline; talk to them about being courteous online as well.
Chat, hang out, and hook up with new people in your area by joining the site that's frequently ranked in the top 10 dating websites.
Employers, college admissions officers, coaches, teachers, and the police may view your child's posts.
Even if you delete the information from a site, you have little control over older versions that may exist on other people's computers and may circulate online.
Some of your child's profile may be seen by a broader audience than you — or they — are comfortable with, even if privacy settings are high.
Encourage your child to think about the language they use online, and to think before posting pictures and videos, or altering photos posted by someone else.