Top 10 Internet Safety Tips For Parents To Keep Kids Safe Online
At SGS, we regularly conduct workshops for parents on parenting the new iGen, particularly for teens on the topic of learning how to be confident as well as for educators on encouraging smart and safe social media usage. Today, we are sharing our top 10 internet safety tips for parents when they are concerned about keeping their kids safe online from potential predators, cyberbullies, and other online threats.
The following tips are for parents to share with their children to increase and foster the future of their online safety.
NEVER share personal information.
Just because someone asks for something personal like your last name, home address, school, telephone number, etc., does NOT mean you have to give it to them. If in doubt, ask your parents!
Create a unique, but appropriate, screen name.
Avoid the use of swear words or any sexual references in your screen name(s). Try the grandmother filter in these cases: if you would not want your grandmother to see your username, it is probably not the best choice for a public domain, either. Another good rule of thumb to follow is not to include personal information (like your last name, date of birth, or zip code) in your username.
Don’t share your passwords!
That is, never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents!
Don’t post photos or videos online without getting your parents’ permission first.
Sometimes we don’t take a good enough look at the backgrounds on our pictures or make the best judgment calls when it comes to content. Having someone else take a second look at the pictures first means that the chances of having one of these “oops!” moments is seriously reduced.
Don’t meet “online friends” in-person without your parents’ permission.
If you meet someone online, do not agree to meet with them in real life - unless your parent signs off on it first.
Resist the urge to reply to bullying.
Turn the “case” over to your parents and let them handle it. They will know the right steps to take to make the bully stop. Remember what they say about sticks and stones and move on, because engaging a bully never helps.
Don’t click on attachments or download prompts without asking permission.
Talk to your parents before opening or downloading attachments. You never know what pictures might be lurking inside or what viruses may be attached.
Don’t sneak social media accounts.
Many social media sites have minimum age requirements. Whether they seem justified or not, these are there for your protection. If your parents have a rule about not signing up for a site for which you may not meet the age requirement, the chances are that they’ve done their research and are making an informed decision!
Know what sites to use for research.
Whether you’re working on a school project or researching something on your own, resist the urge to just “Google” it. The results you pull from the search may not always be safe to open. Talk to your teacher or school media specialist to find out what sites are best suited to use for research.
Tell your parents right away if something makes you uncomfortable online.
It may be a pop-up ad, a site redirect, or a picture on social media. Whatever it is, if something makes you feel uncomfortable, let your parent(s) know right away so they can help you respond appropriately.
Smart Girl Society, Inc., is an Omaha-based nonprofit working to educate and inspire smart & confident girls, women, & families. Through educational workshops, civil outreach programs, and technology & social media research, we work with girls, parents, & educators to promote authenticity on social media and in real life. We educate how to remain safe on social media and how to avoid becoming a target of sextortion. We also inspire action for students to focus on their personal brand development, leadership, educational opportunities, and healthy social skills. Interested in learning more? Check us out!