How to Keep Kids Safe Online
The internet gives kids access to a world of information which can be enriching but also scary. However, parents need to know how to keep kids safe when online. There are many benefits to children using technology and the internet. Children have a world of opportunities to learn and create, but they are also vulnerable to online predators, inappropriate content, scammers and more.
How to Keeps Kids Safe Online
Parents have to know what applications and website their children are accessing. Know what your kids are doing, manage their screen time and join in the fun when possible. You can’t protect your children from something you don’t know about.
Before giving kids access to the internet, inform them that you are both exploring the web together. Setting clear boundaries, no matter what age lets your children know that you are going to be involved in their online activity. Even teens need to know that you can monitor what they do online. They should know that your goal is to protect them, not invade their space.
Using applications like BARK is simple way to monitor their online activity.
Teach Online Safety Rules
Establish safe internet usage rules for your home. Teach kids that they should never share their personal information online.
- Never give our personal information like your address, phone number, e-mail, school, age or passwords.
- Never post pictures without permission from parents
- Never open emails from unknown senders
- Never agree to meet someone in-person
Teach children that not everyone online is honest or has the best intentions. If kids ever have concerns or feel upset by something they see online, tell them to inform a trusted adult immediately.
Use Parental Controls
Many devices, applications and services offer parental controls. Whenever possible set up parental controls to limit what kids can access. Parental control features vary on platforms but their features can include: setting time limits, blocking inappropriate content and limiting app features. Even though parental controls offer additional guidance and protect, nothing is infallible, parents should still monitor their child’s online activity.
Clear and open communication between you and your child is essential. Ask your kids about what they do online. What are their favorite apps? Ask them to show your a funny meme? Get them to teach you how to play their favorite games. The more interest you show in their digital life, the more they will open up and share with you. Talk about online behavior and that the internet is forever. Remind kids that their words and actions online have real life consequences. Have an on-going conversation about the good and bad things they encounter online.
A digital parent’s job is to help guide their child through the ever-changing digital world.