Internet Safety: 8 Things You Should Teach Your Kids

by Guest Author on July 5, 2016

in Articles, Guest Posts

With an abundance of various kid-friendly websites, even toddlers are getting online these days. To keep your kids safe while using the internet, you’ll need to educate them from an early age.

Computers, tablets and mobile phones all necessitate some lessons in online safety. Although the older kids may balk at rules, starting early sets your kids up for success in safe internet exploration. Strong boundaries are necessary as you teach your children about what is safe, what security means and which websites they can visit. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the 10 things you should teach your kids about internet safety.

1. Awareness of Online Dangers

You as a parent need to take the first step in learning about online dangers. New concerns pop up every day, so you’ll need to stay on top. Show your kids how the internet can be a good platform for learning and communicating as well as having fun, but also how it can be addictive and harmful in other ways.

Explain how chat rooms, online games, instant messaging services, social media and downloads can be insecure. Teach your children what’s behind unwanted messages and websites. Explain why your kids shouldn’t click on embedded email links or pop-up ads, as they can inadvertently install malware or viruses.

2. Establishing Priorities

It is very important to prevent your children from becoming addicted to the online world. Make sure you establish rules concerning their time spent online. Teach them how to develop time management skills and encourage them to distribute their free time among other activates as well.

You can come up with a schedule everyone agrees on. Decide on the time of day and the amount of time your kids can spend online, as well as websites and devices they can use.

3. Protection of Personal Information

Teaching your children to protect their personal information is the most important thing about internet safety. Explain what information not to share, such as their name, age, birthday, address, school and phone number.
Explain to your children that not everyone online is who they say they are. Also explain the concept of too much information or “TMI” and what people might do with those personal details.

4. Proper Online Behavior

Go online with your children to give them an example of how they should engage in proper online behavior. Encourage your kids to think before posting a status or message online. Let them know that anything they post online can be misinterpreted since facial expressions, body language and other visual cues aren’t obvious in virtual communication. Show your kids how to respect others and themselves while online. The behavior rules don’t change just because they’re online.

5. Cyberbullying Awareness

Cyberbullying is a very common issue among children today. It is important to make your children aware of the possibility of being bullied online. Teach them that if they ever get threatening messages they should avoid responding and block the bully from contacting them.

It is also important to let them know that anything shared on social media can get into the wrong hands. To minimize the risk of cyberbullying teach your children to avoid sharing things they wouldn’t want others to see. Remember that cyberbullying is a serious and very common problem that no parent can afford to ignore, so take proper steps to keep your child safe.

6. Stranger Danger

The “don’t talk to strangers” rule applies online as well. Ill-mannered strangers in cyberspace may try to trick your child. Online scammers, stalkers, identity thieves, sexual offenders and other unsavory types are out there. Your children should beware of strangers bearing gifts, including help with online games. Explain that not all strangers are bad, like policemen or cashiers at the grocery store, but some can present a serious threat to your children.

7. Sharing Online Experiences

Teach your kids to trust their instincts. If they feel nervous about anything online, they should tell you about it. This includes pictures, texts, emails, websites, and any other type of information that causes them to feel “funny.” Praise your children for recognizing unsafe situations, while keeping in mind that they may accidentally stumble across an unsafe website.

8. Enjoying the World

Show your kids that real life goes beyond status updates, selfies and instant messages. In the real world, kids are playing sports, engaging in hobbies and enjoying real conversations with each other. Encourage your kids to spend time outside and teach them that it brings value to their life.

Conclusion

Learning everything you can about internet safety will help you make informed decisions about the way your kids spend time online. Implementing these strategies will help your kids have a better understanding of online safety. Make sure you talk with your kids about these issues frequently because avoiding the conversation won’t make the online world safer.

Guest article written by: Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.

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