Six Ways to Keep Your Kids Safer Online
The internet can be a powerful learning tool for children, but going online carries with it many risks. Not only can children be the target of online attacks, but they could become unintentionally exposed to unsafe or inappropriate material with just one misguided click.
Here are six things parents can do to keep their kids are safer online:
1. Set the Rules
Talk with your kids about the sites they are allowed to visit, the apps they can use and the social media they are allowed to join. Write down your rules and let them know your expectations for their behavior before they go online. Review the security settings on social media sites. Set limits on what they can post, who can friend or follow them and who can see what they share.
2. Communicate Often
Know who your kids have friended and are communicating with, and the sites they visit. Encourage your children to tell you immediately if they encounter someone suspicious or see something online they think is unsafe.
3. Teach them to Take Care
Make sure your kids know they should never talk to strangers online―including sharing messages or opening attachments. Make your kids aware of the dangers of posting personal information and photos. Teach them never to share their name, location, the school they attend, their phone number, address and other personal information.
4. Know the Policies and Procedures
Be aware of a website’s rules and guidelines for commenting, posting and sharing. Understand the procedure for reporting something unsafe and how to flag other users for inappropriate use.
5. Create Passwords Together
Educate your kids about the importance of a strong password and a secure account. If you can, create them as a team. Let your child know you want them to remain safe, and knowing their passwords is not about being nosy; it’s about protecting them.
6. Keep Their Devices up to Date
Make sure the computer and devices your kids use are secure, with the latest software updates, patches and software, including antivirus, firewalls and anti-malware. Explore the parental controls on mobile devices. Android and Apple both have features that can keep kids safer.