Imagine the amount of junk that you run into while surfing the internet, now imagine the junk your child runs into when they use their computer, phone or tablet.
Have you talked to your kids about internet safety? Are you monitoring what they’re doing online? An inadvertent click could land your child on an inappropriate game telling them they’re going to win a prize or even worse.
It’s time to teach internet safety to your kids and if they’re on a device, now is the time to do it.
Disclosure: I am part of the Mom It Forward Influence Network and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Today is Safer Internet Day, let’s all work “Together for a Better Internet!” All of our kids are online way more than we were at their age. Now is the time to talk to them about online safety so they can continue to enjoy their screen time.
Tips for Internet Safety for Kids
We can’t assume that our kids know what to share or not to share online. Here are some quick tips to discuss with your kids and you’ll want to do this today if you haven’t already.
Does your child know what information they can share online? They should not use their real names, address or school. I tell them not to name siblings or family pets either. This is different if they’re online chatting with friends they know from school. It can be easy to expand that circle of friends quickly as you friend and friend of a friend.
Since they may know their real name already, we discuss the same procedure. That they are to keep their location and family information private.
Under no circumstances are they to share their passwords with their friends. It should not be difficult to guess. Let them know that if other people get a hold of their passwords they can impersonate them online or share personal or mean things about them.
Friend or Foe
Bless their heart, our kids are so innocent they think everyone is a friend. I let them know that anyone can create a free profile and post a picture of a child and talk like a kid. But it is possible that that person could also be an adult who is pretending to be a child.
My kids could not understand why anyone would want to do this. So I ensure them that is why we are always careful with our personal information because we don’t really know who that person is online just like if we were to meet a stranger in real life even if they’re a kid.
Online bullying is happening more and more, phone cameras are everywhere and others can easily take your picture and post mean things online while asking others to do the same. It can be harsh. I let them know that they are to report any behavior that they see as inappropriate.
It’s important not to participate in any behavior that would hurt anyone else’s feelings even if they don’t know them. I ask them to think about how they would feel if all those things are said about them, how would they react? If it’s not a good feeling, they shouldn’t be doing it to others as well.
Ads and games can easily pop up asking them to click on a link or to download something onto their device. You can also get malware or virus warnings telling you that you need to download something to fix it. These can all be malware and any suspicious links need to be reported to a parent first. I stress the importance of not clicking on links that just randomly pop up.
They also know how to target kids because they make them look like fun games.
There are a ton of ways for kids to get off track on the internet, it’s important that you take the time today to have a talk with your kids.
If you can install parental controls and have an online monitoring service or device this will be a huge help to you as well especially if you have kids of different ages. A child who is 6 is going to have different filtering options as a 16-year-old.
Don’t wait until something happens, teach your kids to be on the lookout from the get go.