We live in an increasingly digital world. Children are often more technologically savvy then their parents! They may know how to google, tweet and facebook all from their phone but it is likely they may not know how to stay safe. Here are some tips we would like to offer you as a parent to help guide and encourage your children to stay safe on the internet:
Know the dangers of the internet! Often times children and adults are unaware that typically what goes on the internet can stay on the internet in some form or another. There are several websites that keep files for life. Some phone companies that people access the internet through keep files as well! Ask your child to consider would they want what was put on a website to be found next week, next year, or when they are thirty!? Its not always as simple as clicking the delete button. Children are often unknowingly exploited by the internet. Find out what websites your children are on, be aware of age restrictions for social media sites. Educate yourselves on how people connect through the internet because people who could be bullying or exploiting your children know how!
Teach your child rules about Internet Safety:
– Never give out personal information
– Never meet face to face with someone you meet online
– Never respond email, chat or bulletin boards that are suggestive, obscene or threatening
– Never post pictures of yourself on the internet
– Never download pictures from on unknown source
– Never open email from someone you don’t know
Know the warning signs:
Does your child…
Spend long hours on the internet-especially late at night?
Switch off the monitor or device when you come in the room?
Receive odd phone calls from people you don’t know?
Receives gifts in the mail or has a lot of unexplained money, clothing or toys?
Get overly upset when the internet doesn’t work?
Is withdrawing from family and friends?
To learn more about the Internet and how to keep your children safe visit: http://www.netsmartz.org/Parents