Every child should be taught how to be safe online. The online world can be a place of inappropriate conduct and content, where kids may feel anonymous. There are bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers that may pose a threat to your children. Begin by talking about it and encouraging safe and smart decisions. Here are some tips that can help keep everyone safe online, regardless of age:
- Start at an early age! As soon as children can use a computing device, it’s time to talk to them about using it safely.
- Know what your kids are doing. Consider having a common area in the house for the family to do online activity, where children can feel independent.
- Keep an open and honest environment. Let your children know they can come to you with any concerns or questions about their online experience.
- Protect your children’s information. Don’t over-share information about your children, and teach them this principle. Set social media accounts so only approved friends can see their content.
- Respond appropriately to cyberbullying. Tell children to ignore or block bullies, unless it becomes threatening. Report abuse to the website where it is taking place. If you fear for your child’s safety, report it to the authorities.
- Configure the security and privacy features on devices. Change default settings on your devices and enable security features like strong passwords, auto-updates, etc.
- Keep all your computers and mobile computing devices up to date with the latest security patches and anti-malware software.
- Consider installing or enabling parental controls on devices.
- Teach kids to be cautious of suspicious messages. Forward phishing emails to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.