15 Steps to Safer Social Networking for Your Child

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How to Handle Online Bullying

12. Sign up for Google Alerts. When you sign up for an alert with your child's name, it's a proactive way to find out if anything about them is being posted on the Internet. Keep in mind this doesn't include comments or messages in social networks.

13. Beware of the bully. Teach your children not to respond if they are bullied. Teach them that the proper way to handle the situation is to tell you about the incident, block the person and then make a digital copy.

14. Kindness and respect. Social networks are tools that should be used for positive purposes, not to be unkind or hurtful to other people. Teach this to your children.

15. Stay informed. Keeping up with technology can be intimidating and overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a number of great resources out there like YoursphereForParents, LOOKBOTHWAYS, and the Social Networking Safety group on Facebook that can help your family have a safe online and social networking experience.

In the end, the investment of time you make in talking with your children, taking these steps and staying involved will benefit you and your family, as well as your relationship with your children.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Read more about Mary Kay Hoal here.

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