Like with anything else in life, it’s important to teach your children about internet safety if you want to make sure that they’re cautious and responsible with their web access. Parental control software can be a good start, but eventually, you’re going to need to trust your children to be able to access the online world alone, and giving them a few rules and guidelines to get started can be a crucial first step.
1. Don’t Say Something Online that you Wouldn’t Say in Person
The anonymous nature of the internet can sometimes make it easier for children to be cruel and rude, simply because they believe that they will never have to pay the consequences. Unfortunately, this can lead to issues like cyberbullying, which can sometimes cause very severe outcomes for the children involved.
2. Whatever you Post is Permanent
Children need to know that they must think carefully about the pictures and comments they share online. It’s easy to think that you can simply delete something and it will be gone forever, but if something has been shared or downloaded, then it’s impossible to remove from the cyber highway.
3. If you Accidentally Encounter Something Inappropriate, Tell an Adult
Sometimes children encounter things online that they’d rather not see. This can be very distressing for them, and they may be concerned that if they come to you about it, they’ll get into trouble. You need to let your kids know that they can come to you about the things they see online and you will try and fix the problem.
4. Keep Passwords to Yourself
When using the internet, it’s very important to keep passwords safe and secure. Your children should never share their passwords with anyone, except a parent, and they should change them frequently if possible. Remind them to use a combination of letters, special characters, and numbers to get the strongest codes.
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5. Only Chat with People You Know in Real Life
Finally, it’s impossible to know who someone really is over the internet. Because of this, it’s crucial to tell your children that they should only speak to people that they know and trust in real life when using the web. Otherwise, they may expose themselves to predators.
Have you spoken to your children about Internet safety? Share your experience in the comments below!