The world our children are growing up in is vastly different from the world we grew up in. There are brand new dangers we need to be aware of, and we need to actively try to find new ways to protect our children, and give them the tools they need to protect themselves. With the internet being so widely available, and from a young age, it is so important to consider teaching your children about internet safety.
You should consider installing parental control software on you and your child’s devices to be safe, but you still need to teach them how to remain safe when online.
Here are 10 things to teach your children about internet safety.
- If you accidentally find something inappropriate or scary, shut off the computer and tell an adult straight away.
- Don’t believe everything you read online. Whether you are doing homework research or just reading random content, always double-check your facts. Nobody is fact-checking the internet for accuracy, so you need to do it yourself.
- Don’t say things to someone online that you wouldn’t say to their face. It is easy to be rude on the internet, and it does encourage rude behaviour, but don’t be tempted and don’t engage in cyberbullying. Group posting can make it easy to be rude, but don’t do it.
- Anything you post on the internet is permanent. Even things you delete later on. Texts, images, and videos live can be shared and downloaded or screenshot by others. Always be wary of what you post.
- Do not click on ads or banners on the sides of webpages without asking for permission from your parent. These can lead to unsafe websites, adult content, or content with viruses.
- Only ever chat with people that you have met and trust in real life. Do not talk to strangers on the internet, no matter how friendly they seem. Who you think is a teenager might be an adult trying to lure children in.
- If you receive a message or email from someone that you don’t know, do not reply. Don’t click on any attachments in the email either. Even if the email is from a sender you know but it sounds off, rather tell an adult. These can be emails from scammers who try to get personal information from you or the attachment might contain a virus.
- Don’t post personal information for everyone to see. Always check privacy settings or ask an adult to do so for you. Do not give out your name, age, address, birthday, school, or any other personal information on a public forum.
- Always ask your parent for permission before downloading or uploading anything. It might cost money to download something, or you could be uploading content to an unsafe site.
- Make sure to keep your passwords to yourself and never share them with anyone, other than your parent. Use combinations of letters, numbers, and other special characters to form a password. Make sure it is one that you can remember, but one that will be hard for anyone else to guess.