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.
Hey Samantha, thanks for writing up this great post. I ran into a problem with online security just a couple of days ago.
My son has watched a YouTuber for several years and I have always observed the streams and found it to be okay. This YouTuber inspired entrepreneurship, leadership skills, and basically gave the message to children that with a bit of work, they can accomplish whatever they wanted to.
The other night, their message is sadly changed to much more adult theme topics. As I rounded the corner into the living room, I heard language that was very inappropriate for children. Unfortunately, this broadcaster has now been blocked from all devices.
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Hayden Stewart says
These are great tips, Thanks for sharing!
Krystal Herrera says
This is really important. Especially now that we are in a generation where our kids should have a limit when it comes to technology. There are pros and cons, just be aware of it. Anyways, this is such a great article. Definitely worth of sharing. Cheers!
Esther Diaz says
Nice article. Technology can make a big impact on the kids, this is why we should know the limits of use when it comes to our kids. Great post!
Prakash Gohel says
As children are increasingly targeted in online attacks, parents must take steps to instill secure computing habits and protect their kids’ devices. Great Post Samantha…
Leena Madan says
There are social networks designed specifically for children that allow them to learn how to communicate online in a safe environment. Another option is to talk to other parents and arrange for a pen pal for your child. The more good options you give them, the fewer bad options they will consider taking.
Chris Drew says
Thanks for your post – I need to prepare a seminar on this topic at work next week. It’s a seminar for teachers, but the points are still relevant.
I think the ‘chat’ options on online games is the scary one. You have no idea who’s on the other end.
I like your closing point that we can’t shelter children totally from technology because they need digital skills for the jobs of the future. As a teacher it’s really reinforced to us that we need to teach digital skills and it’s in our curriculum now, too!
I was thinking maybe a rules / reminders poster on the wall the computers might be a good addition. We could even make it with the kids’ input?
Chris Drew recently posted…Digital Game-Based Learning: 13 Pros and Cons
Zoe Campos says
I totally agree that the internet can be a good source of entertainment and information for all kinds of families. I know that some parents, including me and my husband, are worried about their children and still a bit hesitant about getting their own connection. Still, in my own opinion, following your advice and setting rules in the household can protect our own kids from cyber attacks. Asking potential providers if they can also block some websites that aren’t child-friendly can surely help.