Child Internet Safety Tips
Kids are trusting. That means they may not think anything of sharing details like their last name or hometown, on social media sites or through text message. If someone gains their trust, your child may even inadvertently share information which could compromise your credit cards or other financial records. That's why it's important that we don't just monitor what our kids are looking at online but also have a conversation with them about how to use the best internet safety tips.
In addition to the fact that young children simply aren't ready for sexually explicit imagery at such a tender age, there's an extremely vast disconnect between the girly mags of yesteryear and the graphic - and often disturbing - content available on the internet.
As children move past the stage of being satisfied playing on Nick Jr. and the PBS Kids website, things get a bit more complicated. This is the age at which you want to start to talk to them about putting these online safety tips into action.
As kids get older, they're more likely to have a laptop or other connected device in their bedroom - which means they're surfing out of your sight. Keeping teenagers safe online will be much easier if you've already laid the groundwork by following the above guidelines from the time they first began using the internet. They already know many of the dangers.
The most important piece of the internet safety puzzle is talking to your teens openly about potential issues they may encounter, and setting boundaries for their internet usage. Here are some general internet safety tips for your teenagers:
The challenge now becomes getting them to use good judgment in the face of multiple temptations and opportunities to become the victim of threatening activity. Safe browser controls aren't enough at this age - teens need to play an active role in their own smart usage.
As kids get older, it gets a little trickier to monitor their time spent online. They may carry a smartphone with them at all times. They probably want — and need — some privacy. This is healthy and normal, as they're becoming more independent from their parents. The Internet can provide a safe "virtual" environment for exploring some newfound freedom if precautions are taken.
COPPA requires websites to explain their privacy policies and get parental consent before collecting or using a child's personal information, such as a name, address, phone number, or Social Security number. The law also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or enter a contest.
This is probably the threat that strikes the most fear into parents' hearts. The thought of a stranger luring our innocent kids right out of their homes and into a situation where sexual abuse is the most common result sends chills up our spines. The fact is, however, that it happens, and awareness is the best way to keep your child safe from those with ill intentions.