Now, in the internet age, kids are learning about the world wide web younger and younger. While learning how valuable the internet can be, it is also important to make sure that they stay safe in their online communications. By being involved in their online lives, you can help to do just that. Following these tips to keep your kids safe online can help you feel more at ease with your kids using electronic devices with access to the internet.
Ways to keep your kids safe online
1. Establish Rules
Before allowing your kids to use the internet it is important to make sure they know and follow your rules. The rules established at home should also be followed when accessing the internet at friends’ houses or at school. While at home, you can limit their access to only school projects and then a set amount of time for leisurely online activities. Make sure they know not to click on things that may not be appropriate or even things that don’t pertain to what they are looking for. Chatting or messaging people they don’t know personally should be restricted. This rule can also help adults stay safe online.
2. Communicate Openly
If there are open lines of communication between children and parents, you can ensure they are safe in the big world of the internet. If something makes them uncomfortable, they should be able to come to you about their concerns. If you, yourself, have concerns about their internet use, you should also be able to bring those up to your kids. Concerns may include the people they are talking to, what sites they are accessing, and even what information they give out online.
3. Teach Them About Privacy
One of the easiest ways to keep your kids safe online is making sure they understand the importance of privacy. They should know what information is inappropriate to share with others as well as how to spot those who are trying to get it from them. This can help to keep them safe as well as reduce the concerns you have about what they may be sharing. Showing them the potential risks of sharing private information can help them see why this is so dangerous.
4. Use Software to Protect Them
If you’d like to add an extra layer of protection, for both you and them, you can invest in software that can help. The right software can send warnings when visiting sites that aren’t appropriate, or even block them altogether. The right software will include parental controls to keep them safe as well as block viruses from any sites they have access to. Using software can also help limit their time, restricting access outside of approved times.
5. Monitor Social Media Activity
Social media can be the biggest attraction with regards to internet access for kids. Most kids want to communicate with friends outside of school as well as follow their favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and more. However, social media can also be a haven for predators. When kids have rules about accessing social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, they are more likely to communicate with you about what they talk about, who they talk to and more. Restrictions regarding who they can add or follow as well as making sure you can see their online social media activity, can help keep kids safe online.
Give Yourself Peace of Mind
A computer in the home is not the only place your kids will have access to the internet. Schools teach kids how to use technology at younger ages. If you have concerns or rules regarding their internet use, you can bring these up to their teachers or school counselor. Smartphones and tablets, if your child has one or both, can also allow them online access and their use of the internet on such devices should also be monitored. Eventually, your kids will prove they are responsible online and you can show your trust in them by removing restrictions or allowing more internet time. Keep your kids safe online and help yourself feel more confident in their use of the internet. Download a free copy of “Internet Kids – Road Trip”. The book about staying safe online for ages 6-10 today!
About Anna Blake
Anna is a stay at home mom, wife and owner of very demanding cat, from sunny Chatsworth, California. When she is not busy chasing her 2 year old around, you can find her trying out new salad recipes or re-watching favorite chick-flick movies.
Together with her hubby they educate kids and adults about internet safety through their website and recently created an educational children’s book “Internet Kids – Road Trip”.