Updated: Aug 26
Your kids can access too much online from their iPhone, Tablet, iPad, Apple Watch, Laptop… and the list goes on. You cannot watch them at all times and yet you can take steps to prepare them and keep them safe. To do this, follow the following Top 10 Tips to keep your kids safe online:
The #1 tip and starting point is having an open and honest conversation about online safety. Talk to your kids! You can learn all of the information you need to know from consumernotice.org
2. Keep your computer usage in an open area and model this for your kids. Let them know how you use your phone and laptop.
3. Remind your kids to never disclose or share their personal details online. This includes their name, address, contact information and your information too!
4. Don’t forget to focus on the good and positive parts of being online and that you care about their safety.
5. Remind your kids that people can easily hide behind photos or other images to create a secret persona. This means that not everyone is who they say they are.
6. Check in with your kids about who they are talking to and spending time with online. Join them when they play online games, take an interest in their activities.
7. If needed consider using parental controls to filter or block certain access.
8. Constantly remind them that they can come to you with anything no matter what. Reinforcing this safe space will matter when they come across a cyber-bully or other difficult situations.
9. Remember that your experience as a parent with the online world is drastically different then your kids. Be patient and learn from them.
10. Remind them, remind them, remind them to never share any photos of themselves to anyone they do not know and never if it feels uncomfortable no matter who it is.
Follow the top 10 tips listed above to create an initial safe space for your child to be and use the internet. Being online is something you cannot avoid with social pressures and just the natural way we conduct business, maintain personal relationships and engage across the globe. Creating an open dialogue and honest conversation is where you can start.
You can learn a tremendous amount, as mentioned, by reviewing ConsumerNotice.org and their thorough article on Internet Safety for Kids. You start with the high-level overview with, “Almost every American child and teen has access to the internet. They socialize in online games or on smartphones just as they would on a playground. They live largely in a digital community. But like any community, there are risks and dangers” and find a deep analysis and supportive information covering practical guidance on:
How are kids getting online
Explaining internet safety to your kids
How to set rules
Steps your can take to protect your children online
Using tech and apps to protect your kids online
How to teach your kids to use their smartphones
Make sure your teen understanding the dangers of texting and driving
Teaching your teens how to use social media safely
How to talk to your teens about sexting
What you should know about your kids and online gaming
What to do if your child’s safety is threatened online
Checkout more at consumernotice.org.
In addition to practical guidance on how to keep your kids safe online through active engagement and communication there are numerous steps you can take with your home technology to provide a safe environment. Today's Homeowner provides a thorough outline how you can do this in your home network. You can read it in full detail here.