Child Internet Safety Tips
The Norton Family Premier app is not cheap at $49.99 but its got great features including location tracking, the ability to block individual apps and web filtering. Very usefully, it also works on multiple devices, should you have a family of smartphone users,
Online tools let you control your kids' access to adult material and help protect them from Internet predators. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) provide parent-control options. You can also get software that helps block access to sites and restricts personal information from being sent online. Other programs can monitor and track online activity.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is assuming that your child isn't being cyberbullied simply because you don't hear about it at the dinner table. According to internet safety education foundation i-SAFE, fewer than half of cyberbullying victims tell a parent or adult that they're being harassed. For more information, read our cyberbullying ultimate guide.
In addition to the common sense practices you've taught them, it's a good idea to set up a charging station in a central location in the house. This way their devices are not in their bedrooms, removing any potential for risky late-night online activity.
If you can imagine your child with a group of three friends hanging out in your living room, one of them has taken part in this type of activity, and it could be your child. That's an alarming thought for any parent.
A federal law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps protect kids younger than 13 when they're online. It's designed to keep anyone from getting a child's personal information without a parent knowing about it and agreeing to it first.
If you do find out that your teen has either sent or received an inappropriate text message, have them delete the content and then have a discussion about the best course of action. You may decide to have a conversation with the other teen's parents, or you may choose to administer consequences to your own child and take whatever action you feel necessary to prevent future incidents.
We must also remember that “online” is much more than spending time on the computer. Now smart phones and even video games are completely connected to the outside world. Parents must understand that if the ability exists for communication with children, predators are there.
I personally chose not to allow my kids to sign up for social media sites until they could do so without having to lie about their ages. Here's a shocker for you: not only are millions of Facebook users under the required age of 13 but that 68% had their parents help to create their accounts, according to data reported by Forbes.
Talk about the sites and apps teens use and their online experiences. Discuss the dangers of interacting with strangers online and remind them that people online don't always tell the truth. Explain that passwords are there to protect against things like identity theft. They should never share them with anyone, even a boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend.