5 Internet Safety Tips for Parents
By: Suzana Somers
Keeping up with the growing industry of social media and gaming can be difficult in the 21st century. The thoughts of what your child might come across online can be worrying.
1. Introduce and discover the internet together
Try to find websites together that are entertaining and build a bond around using technology. This will make it easier in the future to discuss both positive and negative experiences and open the door for questions from your child.
2. Encourage your child to be careful when sharing personal information
It’s important for your child to understand that websites will ask for personal information to personalize content. Discuss rules for when to disclose certain information. Some families choose to only use the child’s first name and not to show their child’s face until they are old enough to make an educated decision. Once the material is online, you can no longer control who sees it or how it’s used. If your teen is on social media sites, teach them how to report inappropriate content using the safety and security settings on the site.
3. Agree on house rules with your child
Try to work with your child to agree on house rules for technology and internet use. Consider discussing the length of usage, how to treat personal information, what sites are okay, and how to use messaging within gaming and social media appropriately.
4. Teach your child about how to be critical about information found online
Children frequently use the internet to learn more about both personal and school interests. Talk to your child about how not all information found on the internet is accurate. Browse the news articles or sites of interest and discuss how to verify if the information they find is accurate by comparing to other sources.
5. Don’t forget the positive outweigh the negative in the world of technology and internet
The internet is an incredible education and even recreational place for kids. There are endless sites and games appropriate for all ages. Children can access information 24 hours a day and connect with content that they identify with. Be sure to keep a positive approach with your child when it comes to internet and technology.
Below are some links to popular social media sites with more information on children use.
Common Sense Media – the best place for keeping up with any and all social media, gaming, and popular sites used by kids.