Internet Safety Tips For Parents – With our kids online more now than ever, it’s crucial for parents to regularly talk to their kids about how to stay safe while they’re online. The reality is we can’t hover over their shoulders to watch what they’re doing every second that they’re online. What we can do is teach them how to be safe, be a good support system when they need help and instill safety tips that they’ll use as they grow up. To help you teach your kids how to stay safe online, here are our top five internet safety tips for kids.
1. Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information
The most important internet safety tip to start teaching your kids early is to never give anyone any personal information. Teach them that giving their full name, address, neighborhood, school, or any other information about your family is not allowed. Don’t scare your kids, but let them know that giving personal information can be dangerous.
2. Don’t Talk To Strangers Online
We practice not talking to strangers in real life, but for one reason or another we forget about it while we’re online. The internet can be full of wonderful people, but unfortunately not everyone is. As adults we know that strangers can be anybody and can even be a predator trying to find their next victim. It’s important to give our kids the knowledge to shut any potential threats down as quickly as possible and to be there if they need help. Just like offline, reiterate to your kids to not talk to strangers. If they don’t know someone in real life, don’t talk to them online. If someone does contact them that they don’t know, teach them that they don’t have to even respond and to let you know.
3. Don’t Share Your Passwords With Anyone
Their whole lives we teach our kids to share with others, but no one should share their passwords. Explain to your kids that they need to keep their passwords a secret; even from you. Setting these boundaries early along with other safe practices will keep their online accounts safer. While on the topic of passwords with your kids, make sure that they’re creating strong passwords that are unique for each account. Using the same password for every account isn’t safe.
4. Don’t Download Anything Without Our Permission
Being cautious of what you download comes as second nature to adults, but kids can forget. They might find their favorite song, movie or game online and not think twice to download it. Downloading files from unknown publishers can infect your devices with malware and open your devices up to cybercriminals. While you should have antivirus or internet security software installed on every internet enabled device, not downloading suspicious files in the first place is the best way to combat cyberattacks. We suggest to avail TV streaming services like Dish Network, Netflix or Hulu so your child can watch their favorite TV and movies online and install Youtube for their favorite music, For games, put a password on your devices asking for permission whenever they download an app so you can track and check what they are downloading from in the internet.
5. If You Feel Uncomfortable Tell Us
Even when your kids follow the rules 100% of the time, things can happen. This is why you need to let them know at any time if anyone or anything makes them uncomfortable online, that they need to report it to you as soon as it happens. Be sure to let them know that no matter what the situation is, that they’re not in trouble. Positive reinforcement is key here so your kids continue to confide in you when something goes wrong. If you punish, overreact, yell or worse; your kids will hide what’s going on and then they won’t have help when they need it most.
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