For today’s children, it’s just as wise for them to learn about how to stay safe when on the Internet as it is for them to know how to stay safe when playing outside or walking to school. Not only do modern parents have to worry about physical dangers for their kids, but they also have to ensure that their children don’t get taken advantage of, bullied, or scammed online. So to help ensure that technology doesn’t become a negative impact on the lives of those you love, here are three tips for teaching your kids about Internet safety.
Set Rules For Using The Internet
To help your kids stay within safe boundaries, you should consider setting some safety rules for how and when your kids use the Internet. According to NetSmartz.org, these rules should include things like only using a computer, tablet, or phone in a public area of your home, having limits of screen time each day, staying to specific websites, and speaking with you if they see anything that makes them uncomfortable. Try to have an open dialogue with your kids about what’s safe online behavior and what’s unsafe behavior. And if your children break the rules you’ve set, make sure their punishment fits the crime so as to discourage this behavior in the future.
Explain How Interacting With People Online Should Be Done Safely
One of the biggest threats to kids who spend a lot of time online is the potential for being taken advantage of by predators. This is one of the scariest things that a parent or guardian can face, so it’s important that you teach your kids how to protect themselves. According to Mary Beth Hertz, a contributor to Edutopia.org, it can sometimes be hard to talk to young kids about how to interact with others online. While you don’t want them to open themselves up too much to those they don’t know, a lot of innocent collaboration does take place between strangers when working online. So when your kids are young, you might want to completely discourage any communication with those they don’t already know in real life. But as they get older, the conversation might change.
Help Them Create Strong Passwords
In addition to protecting themselves when online, you’re also going to want to teach them how to protect their online information and the devices they use to get on the Internet. The last thing you want is for your child to download a virus that slows down your device or allows hackers to access your sensitive information. To combat this, Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, shares that you should teach your kids how to have strong passwords and to never share those passwords with anyone other than you.
To help you feel more confident about the safety of your kids while online, consider using the tips mentioned above to help teach them about Internet safety.