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4 simple ways to keep your children safe online

Like every parent, you want your kids to be amazed and happy when they learn about the world. But on the internet, all this wonder and delight can be too much, too fast. You know all too well how dangerous the World Wide Web can be. And the internet will be a big part of your child’s life, whether they use it for school, fun, or just to talk to their friends. So, they need to know how to stay safe online. Here are four tips to help them learn how to use their laptops, phones, and other connected devices in a responsible way.

Talk to people well

The internet can be bad for children's mental health | The Independent | The Independent

It’s not easy to do with kids, but it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. You want them to know that they can tell you about what they do online and let you know if something is wrong. Simple strategies include: Talk to them as soon as possible about their online presence, preferably before they start using email, social media, or a smartphone. You can get to know them better by talking about what they find interesting online and asking them about popular websites and apps. This will help you build a relationship with them and spot possible risks 

Give them some background

Intel Security on how to keep your children safe online | Daily Mail Online

Kids may know more about texting and Fortnite than you do, but you have a lot of valuable life experience to share. Don’t forget to tell them: What they share online stays there forever, even on apps like Snapchat where content is supposed to be deleted after a certain amount of time. They should always ask themselves, “Is it against the law?” before sharing. Not good for me? Embarrassing to someone else? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” they should never tell anyone. Online bullying is never okay, and if it happens, they need to tell an adult right away so that proof can be gathered, like the date, a digital record of what happened, and the conversation that took place.

Watch without snooping

7 Things Your Kids Shouldn't Do Online

Most kids learn to respect other people’s personal space and to not open the cookie jar without being asked. Internet use is no different. It’s helpful for kids to have rules about what they can share online, what websites they can visit, and what apps they can use. Also:

Know who their online and offline friends are

Parental Controls are Vital to your Child's Safety

Remind them that if something online makes them feel uncomfortable, they can and should talk to an adult they trust.

Limit access appropriately

10 things every parent can do to keep kids safe online | Children's Health Queensland

How you handle your kids’ use of the Internet will depend on how old they are. There are sites and tools like YouTube Kids that are made for younger kids and are meant to keep them safe while they are online. Older kids might be given more freedom because they want to make friends and need to use the internet to find information. But you can make rules that make sense to you. Talk with them about these limits, such as website filters that block adult content and parental controls on apps like Netflix that limit what they can see. Giving your kids the freedom to make good decisions online teaches them responsibility, shows that you trust them, and reminds them that rules can be tightened if they don’t follow them.


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