Teaching Online Safety to Your Children

With schools being held online kids are spending more time online than ever. It is important that you educate your children about the dangers lurking online and how to practice safety while online. This will lead them to online practices that they will carry with them, helping keep them virtually safe. Here are 5 tips to help start your discussion about online safety with your children: 

Sit with them

  • When they’re first starting out, make being online a family thing. 
  • Sit with them, play games with them, show them how to use Google, watch a few YouTube videos with them, etc.
  • Make the internet something innocent, fun, and educational. 

Be open

  • As they get older and more experienced with the internet (and technology in general), discuss the potential drawbacks of using it inappropriately.
  • Explain how unwise decisions can hurt their futures – as far as their reputation and financial well-being is concerned. 
  • If you leave anything open to interpretation, then there’s the potential for misinterpretation.  

Set parameters

  • Set clear expectations with your children:
    • Time limits 
    • Browsing restrictions 
    • Only specific YouTube channels 
    • Purchasing and download approvals  
    • Adjust security settings on any social profiles they may have 

Use an app

  • To help with setting parameters, you can use an app (or even a security suite)
  • Some security suites allow you to block specific websites and functions
  • There are apps that can block kids from opening other apps or prevent them from downloading new ones.  

Give them space.   

  • As they get older, give them space and trust them to use the internet and their connected devices appropriately.
  • If you constantly harass them about what they’re doing and where they’ve been, it’ll be more tempting for them to go behind your back to do things they aren’t supposed to do. 

What are your thoughts?