Keeping kids safe online is no easy task. When the Internet first entered the scene, it was new and not widely used. Today, the online world is readily accessible to anyone with access to a smartphone, tablet, or other Internet-interfaced devices. We read books online, shop online, and communicate with people around the world online. Any parent concerned with the potential dangers that the digital world presents is understandably wondering how to promote child safety online.
There are many threats from the digital world that face each of us: identity theft, hacking, data leaking, etc. Children face issues related to their age: cyberbullying, unsupervised chat rooms, and more. How do we protect our children? Use these suggestions for online safety for kids to help you come up with your own plan of protection.
Online Safety for Kids Ideas and Suggestions
There are many ways to help keep your child safe online. Let’s take a look at a few ideas to get you started.
Learn More About the Internet
We’d all like to think that we’re pretty tech savvy, but let’s be real: we’ve all embarrassed our children at one point or another with our inept handling of technology. The good news is, you can (and should) learn more about using technology (especially the Internet).The more you know and learn, the better you’ll be able to answer your children’s questions and talk about the Internet in general with them.
Remember, children only know what they are taught by you or others, so the more prepared you are to teach them about the Internet the better. And better still if they’re first learning it from their parents instead of their peers, who might give your child misconceptions about the online world.
Discuss Internet Safety with Your Children
The more you talk about Internet safety in your home, the better prepared your children will be. Talk with them about the dangers of the Internet, as well as the good things it has to offer. Discuss with them what things they should watch out for. Reinforce the idea that talking to you about it is always a positive thing.
Move Computers to Common Areas of Your House
One of the best ways to head off potential internet dangers for your children is to have any computers and smart devices located and used in a common area of your house. Help your children develop the habit of always making their screens visible to others in the room (and try to do the same yourself). That way, your children can learn to be transparent with you about their Internet activity.
Be Aware of Their Use of Computers and Other Devices
Always try to be aware of how your children are using their devices, but resist your urge to be a helicopter parent—especially as your child becomes a teenager. Remember what it was like to be a teenager? Believe me, I know it isn’t a pleasant thought, but humor me for a second. What did you want more than anything else—besides your first kiss or for all your acne to magically disappear? Freedom. You wanted to be treated like an adult and do adult things. So be aware of how your child is using their devices but give them the freedom they long for and avoid constantly supervising them. Focus instead on teaching your child to be their own supervisors when it comes to using their device and trust that they can learn to be responsible for their tech use.
Set Usage Time Limits
Sit down with your child and a set time limit together for how long your kids can be on the computer or using the iPad. School-related work shouldn’t be included in that limited time, but anything like playing games or being on social media like Instagram could be.
It’s also a good idea to emphasize what’s okay and what’s not. Teach your children about what constitutes a red flag or means something is wrong. Rules for Internet safety can include things like “don’t talk to strangers” and “don’t give out personal information.”
Start Your Child’s Experience with Phones and the Internet the Right Way with Troomi
Teaching your child how to be responsible for a phone is a great way to slowly introduce them to the digital world and help you keep your kids safe online. Troomi’s phones allow parents to equip their kids with a device that isn’t all or nothing when it comes to access. The gradual introduction to technology is the perfect way to teach kids Internet safety and responsibility. Learn more about Troomi and what we have to offer today!