October 10, 2014

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Internet Safety Tips for Kids & Teens

Having children in the age of the internet can be a very scary thing. We, as parents must remain vigilant about the safety of our children and the way they use the internet. Depending on the age of your children there are different steps you can take to protect them.

  1. Keep the computer in a centralized location of the home. With younger children, ages 4-7 you’ll want to stay with them the entire time to make sure there’s no accidental clicks that will lead them to the dangerous side of the internet. Once your children hit the preteen years, ages 8-12 you’ll want to give them their space so they know you trust them but always be present (be in the same room or check in every 15-30 minutes). 
  2. Set boundaries! Kids are growing up in a completely different era than we did. The whole world is only one mouse click away. Childhood obesity is at its all time high and many experts believe that a big part of the reason is simply because kids don’t spend enough time away from the TV, video games and computers. Setting a time limit is very important to make sure your children are getting enrichment from the simple things in life like playing in the park, riding a bike or cooking dinner with mom and dad. There are even contract templates that you can use to set the boundaries, these templates are the best ones we’ve found. The best part about these is that you can simply copy & paste them into a word document and add your own rules to them.

  3. Teach them the importance of protecting their privacy. Make sure your kids know just how vital it is to never share their personal information. Things like their name, phone number, email address, physical address, what school they attend, pictures and passwords are things that should NEVER be shared with anyone. You also need to coach your children to let you know if they ever come across a person or website that asks for these things. If they have their own email address, make sure they know to never open an email from someone they don’t know.

  4. Take advantage of the resources available to you. Many ISP’s (internet service providers) have parental control features that will allow you to customize what you want your children to have access to. Most of them even have the capability to set controls by age range but you can also set time limits, content and specific websites and communication features like chat rooms and email. Keep in mind that you can also set limits on many different search engines like Google SafeSearch.

  5. Educate your teens. With teens, some of the steps above may be a little harder to follow. They probably know how to disable parental controls and how to turn off the filters you put on your search engine. The best thing you can do is make sure they know the consequences of what goes on the internet. What they say or do on the internet at age 15 can come back to haunt them at age 30. We recommend going over these teen internet safety tips with your kids. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced to keep track of your kids online activities, consider something like CyberPatrol. There are many other platforms that offer similar services so make sure to do your research.

Written By: Miranda Wilkerson

Comments

Staying Safe in Fall by Karen Marcil (Absolute Protection Team)  on  November 03
Keeping Our Community Safe by Karen Marcil (Absolute Protection Team)  on  November 03
System Control with a Smart Phone by Karen Marcil (Absolute Protection Team)  on  October 30
Aspire Person
4 years ago
Great text! Thank you
Aspire Person
4 years ago
Great text! Thank you
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