The Internet is a great source of information and entertainment, and it has taught me SO much in life! But, the internet isn’t always kid-friendly. Here are some ways to teach kids online safety!
There are millions of videos available right at your fingertips that discuss any subject you can think of. Some can be informative and some are funny, but there are many that aren’t appropriate for young kids.
As a parent, your number one concern is keeping your kids safe while taking advantage of all the benefits being online offers. Here are some tips for gaining the benefits of the Internet, while being cautious of the dangers.
6 Ways to Teach Kids Online Safety
1. Teach your kids how to be safe online.
Explain why they cannot give out personal information such as their (or a friends) email address, full name, home address, phone number, name of school, etc. Tell them not to share photos that could give away their location, such as standing next to a street sign. Explain the dangers of talking to strangers on private chat when playing online games and on social media.
2. Set limits with explanations.
Set and enforce online rules. For example, set a time limit on how long each child can be online and when they’re allowed on the computer. Provide a list of safe sites they are allowed to visit and then explain why these sites are okay and why they should not go to any other sites. (There are many 100% kid-friendly sites, but there are some adult sites that have tags such as “video games for kids” “coloring pages for kids” etc.
3. Use safety features.
Even as an adult, I love safety features, just to prevent accidental popups! Use your computer’s safety features. There are a number of features available to help ensure your child’s online safety such as parental controls. You can set these controls to prevent your children from visiting sites you consider off limits or unsafe for them to visit.
4. Keep the whole family accountable.
Keep the computer in a neutral location such as the den or living room instead of your child’s room. Watch how they use the Internet and check the browser history after each use to see which sites they’re visiting when you’re not watching closely.
5. Have a plan.
In the event your child notices something strange going on such as someone asking a lot of personal questions or something happens to make them feel uncomfortable, they need to know what to do next.
6. Seek empowerment, not fear.
The Internet is full of a vast amount of AWESOME resources. It’s taught me how to do so much – the Dave Ramsey envelope system, how to get grass stains out of a shirt, how to hem my jeans. And, in our society, it’s important to teach proper technology use, to help kids in their future careers.
One of my biggest pet peeves is moms ranting…on Facebook…about kids glued to their screens. Our world is so tech driven, with many jobs in STEM easily paying six figures a year. Teaching kids how to properly use technology and social media can provide them with the tools they need to succeed as adults.