10 Tips for Internet Safety
- Establish an ongoing dialogue and keep lines of communication open
- Encourage your child to tell you if they ever see or receive something that makes them uncomfortable
- Learn about the services they use, what they offer, and what safety features they have
- Talk to your child about sexual victimization and online predators
- Don’t be overly critical of your child’s use of the internet
- Children come by some adult material by accident, and some by intentional searching.
- Remember that children are naturally curious, especially about things that they know are off-limits.
- Try to be open, talk about these issues, and make rules for these problems as they arise.
- Explore the Internet together as a family
- Let your child show you what they are interested in on the internet.
- Take the time to explore new websites, games, and apps together.
- Bonding over new experiences helps build trust with your child and allows them to be more open about their internet use in general
- Talk to you child about the risks of meeting “online friends” in person
- Let your child know that people aren’t always who they appear to be online.
- It is a good thing to make new friends, but extra precautions should be taken with online friends.
- Make sure your child knows that they should never meet an online friend in person without first getting your approval.
- Create online rules with together with your family
- Involve your children in the creation of the online rules so that they are more familiar with the rules and feel as if they contributed to family safety.
- Post the rules near the family computer and talk often about the rules since most children and teens now access the internet remotely.
- Talk to your child about sharing personal information
- It is important for your child to know that certain information should never be shared online.
- Websites and apps often ask for this information before a user can use the service. Make sure your child knows to get your permission before ever giving out this information.
- Also make sure that you child knows what information is and isn’t appropriate to share with people they have met online.
- Educate yourself about technology and the internet
- Give yourself as much knowledge as possible when it comes to the internet and technology
- Talk to other parents, join communities dedicated to internet safety, and read articles about related topics.
- The more you know the better you will be able to relate to your child about these issues and the better qualified you will be to make these decisions.
- Take advantage of Privacy Settings on all Websites and Apps
- Most websites and apps have privacy settings that can be adjusted.
- Make sure that the settings are age-appropriate for your child.
- Teach your child that these settings are there for their protection, not punishment.
- Address Cyberbullying with your child
- Make sure your child knows that bullying is wrong, online and in person.
- Have a plan for what your child should do if they witness bullying, or if they become the victim of bullying
- Be a Good Digital Role Model
- Your children watch your actions to learn how they should act.
- If you aren’t using the internet and technology, they have to look elsewhere to learn how to use it.
- Using technology is one of the easiest and fastest ways to understand it.