Remember when surfing the internet meant tying up your phone line?
Your kids probably don’t! This generation is more tech savvy than any previous generation, and some of these kids begin their internet experience even before they begin school. Here are three things they need to know about to be safe online.
Make sure your child is educated about pornography: what it is, how it will harm them, and how it harms others. Online pornography is pervasive; it is almost certain that your child will be exposed to it. Does he or she know what to do when this happens? Come up with a strategy such as turning off or covering up the monitor and immediately finding a trusted adult. Teach your kids internet accountability, that they are responsible for what they view online.
We post articles frequently on our Clean Router Facebook page about pornography’s effects on individuals and society. These articles are a great resource for talking to your children about pornography.
A flashing banner inviting your child to click to claim a brand new iPad can be very tempting if he doesn’t know any better. Teach your children to avoid ads and to recognize illegitimate websites.
One popular scam is fake customer service numbers. Make sure your children know to never dial a customer service number unless it comes from the actual company’s website!
It’s easy to forget that social media is a public forum. Remind your kids that if they wouldn’t put it on a billboard, they shouldn’t post it online or send it in a message. This includes messages that are supposed to disappear or be deleted and even “private” online storage. Several celebrities recently learned the hard way that nothing digital is perfectly secure. Teach your children how to adjust their privacy settings on social media but not to take that privacy for granted.
Giving your child online street smarts is just as important as reminding him to wear a bike helmet or talk to strangers appropriately.
Check out our other posts on helping your kids be safe online!