5 Rules to Teach Your Kids About Internet Safety

5 Rules to Teach Your Kids About Internet SafetyLike 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.

Related: How to Protect your Child from Cyber Bullies

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!

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  • This is so crucial. It’s something I had to do with my middle school classroom. Kids don’t always know what they’re about to stumble upon or how to interpret everything. Opening up the conversation is so important.

  • Joline

    I’m so afraid for my nephew and nieces. They are growing up with the Internet right at their fingertips! That’s terrifying to me, it’s such a massive world and not everyone is nice. These are invaluable lessons to teach them.

  • Neha Saini

    Internet has its own pros and cons. That is why 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.

  • Anita Anderson

    I have with my 10 yr old son as he likes to watch vine videos and more. Safety is important to me and I do limit the time that he is online.

  • What an important topic. Sometimes we do not realize but our children are exposed when playing or using the internet thanks for providing us so many good tips.

  • These are excellent tips, if only we can get our kids to listen. I think the effect of permanency doesn’t sink through to them.

  • These are great tips. It is so hard raising kids in such a tech based world. We have to be so diligent and teach them another whole set of rules about what they do online. These tips will definitely come in handy as my son gets older.

  • These all sound like such simple things to teach kids but so important at the same time.. Great tips and I hope others take the time to teach their children these 5 things.

  • It’s so important for kids to understand that the things they do and say online can come back to haunt them in the future. This is a great post exactly for that reason.

  • Rosey

    I’ve covered these with my son early. They start younger and younger so it’s important to keep them well versed on being safe. High Five to you, for encouraging that by sharing this post.

  • Our Family World

    It is really important that we teach our kids internet safety and online etiquette. I would also want to add that the kids should be taught to turn off the GPS locator on their phone or other devices.