June is Internet Safety Month and now’s the right time to consider how you are securing your family’s safety online. We often think of safety in terms of physical and emotional safety but in the digital age, we also need to focus on what keeps our families – namely our children – safe at any age. The following helpful strategies are some of the ways you can ensure life online allows them to take full advantage of the internet, while minimizing the risk and impact on their growth.
Stop. Think. Connect.
The first step is to teach children how to take safety measures, think about the consequences of their actions, and connect knowing you have taken steps to safeguard yourself and your family when online.
Share With Care – What You Post Can Last A Lifetime.
Help your children understand that any information they share online can easily be copied and is almost impossible to take back. Teach them to consider who might see a post and how it might be perceived in the future.
Personal Information Is Like Money. Value It. Protect It.
Information about your kids, such as the games they like to play and what they search for online, has value ‒ just like money. Talk to your kids about the value of their information and how to be selective with the information they provide to apps and websites.
Post Only About Others As You Would Like To Have Them Post About You.
Remind children and family members about the golden rule and that it applies online as well. What they do online can positively or negatively impact other people.
Own Your Online Presence.
Start the conversation about the public nature of the Internet early. Learn about and teach your kids how to use privacy and security settings on their favorite online games, apps, and platforms.
Remain Positively Engaged.
Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. In the real world, there are good and bad neighborhoods, and the online world is no different. Help them to identify safe and trusted websites and apps. Encourage them to be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
Stay Current. Keep Pace With New Ways To Stay Safe Online.
Keep up with new technology and ways to manage privacy. Visit staysafeonline.org or other trusted websites on our resources page for the latest information about ways to stay safe online. Talk about what you discovered with your family, and engage them on a regular basis to share what they know about privacy.
In today’s world, digitally connected families must think about safety and security both online and offline. Every child is taught basic safety and security, like not talking to strangers and looking both ways before crossing the street. Teaching young people easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begins with parents leading the way.