Internet Safety Starts at Home
When the kids are home from school over the summer, parents find themselves thinking more than ever about how to keep them safe online. So we’ve put together a few tips for talking to your kids, and protecting them as they’re surfing the web:
1) Set some limits — and join in
Schedule technology-free timeframes each day, to encourage your child to get outside, play with toys, or do crafts. You can make it more fun by competing with your child to see who can go the longest without using a phone or computer.
2) Find a kid-safe web browser
Do an online search for web browsers that are age-appropriate. These kid-safe browsers help prevent kids from reaching web sites that are off-limits, while giving them access to many educational and fun activities online.
3) Stay in touch
Follow your kids on any and all social media presences they have — and talk to them about posts you see from others as well.
Mention posts you see on your own social media feeds, and show them to your kids. Open their minds to thinking critically about how such posts might be viewed by a boss, relatives, friends, and others. And ask your kids how certain posts make them feel about people.
By engaging them in conversations now, you’ll help them make better choices about the kinds of posts that are appropriate — and those that may harm them in the long run.
4) Leverage their creativity
Consider using the internet to your kids’ advantage, by having them create their own “shows” or demos on YouTube. They can create a channel and post content — and by doing it right, they’ll learn how to organize a message, and plan the delivery. It’s a great way to engage others and show off a skill.
5) Establish rules of conduct
Make sure kids know that sharing personal information can compromise their personal safety. They should never reveal specific details about themselves, especially to people they don’t actually know in person.
Also, check app settings on kids’ phones to be sure that they’re not knowingly or unknowingly sharing things like age, address and phone number, specific locations of where they are when posting to social media, etc.
For more information on good internet safety and more, visit SafeKids.com.
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