Internet Safety Guide for your kids

Internet Safety Guide for your kids

Children and teens today use technology more than ever before. Many young people know a lot about how to use electronic devices. However, they sometimes fail to make good decisions that will keep them safe online.

You can take steps to help keep your child safe from the dangers of being online. Internet safety includes:

  • Supervising your child’s Internet use.
  • Talking to your child about ways to be safe online.
  • Setting clear rules for your child’s online activity.

Why is Internet safety important?

Internet safety is important because your child may:

  • Accidentally find inappropriate subject matter, such as violence or pornography.
  • Share too much personal information.
  • Become a target for child predators.
  • Be bullied by others in chat rooms or on social media (cyberbullying). This can be very harmful to children.

What actions can I take to keep my child safe on the Internet?

Talk to your child about safety

Talk to your child about ways to stay safe online. Do this as soon as your child has access to a computer, smartphone, or other electronic device. Explain that:

  • The Internet can be a useful tool, but it can also be dangerous.
  • Anything that your child posts online will not be private.
  • You will be setting some rules for Internet use.
  • You will be able to check which websites your child visits (browsing history).
  • You will be setting Internet controls that prevent your child from seeing certain content.

Set rules for Internet use

Use these guidelines to set rules that will help keep your child safe:

  • Allow your child to use the Internet only in common areas of the house, such as the living room or kitchen.
  • Do not allow your child to be online in his or her bedroom.
  • Use parental control settings to block your child’s access to inappropriate content.
  • Set a limit for the amount of time that your child can be online each day.
  • Tell your child that he or she should let you know if someone:
    • Sends threatening or bullying messages.
    • Sends inappropriate messages or pictures.
    • Asks for personal information, such as full name, address, phone number, passwords, or school information.
  • Make sure your child’s social media accounts and online profiles are set to the most private settings.
  • Tell your child to:
    • Never exchange messages with people that he or she does not know.
    • Never go to meet someone in person whom your child only knows online.

Where to find support

For more support, turn to:

  • Your child’s teachers or school counselor.
  • Your local library, parenting groups, or other organizations that might host workshops or discussions about children’s Internet safety.
  • Your local police department. They may have a special task force or an outreach officer who handles cyberbullying and Internet safety.

Where to find more information

Learn more about Internet safety from:

Summary

  • The Internet can be a useful tool, but it can also be dangerous.
  • Monitor your child’s online activity closely.
  • Talk to your child about how to use the Internet safely.
  • Set clear rules for your child’s online activity.
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