Are you monitoring your child’s online safety? When was the last time you checked your child’s phone or computer? What conversations have you had with your child about online safety?
Almost one in three parents have never spoken to their children about cybersecurity, a report reveals, shedding light on a knowledge gap that must be addressed. (Cybernews)
We live in a different world than when I raised my kids (now in their 30s). Today’s kids are consumed by the digital world, which means that parenting must go beyond normal parenting concerns. As your child spends more time online, talking to them about cyber safety is a must.
Here are 4 guidelines for monitoring your child’s online safety:
Every child that has a phone should have parental controls on their device. When you choose to remove those controls is up to your discretion, but when you gift your child a phone, it should come with those controls already on. Here is a list of the best parental control appts for 2023.
Your kids may not like it, but their safety is more important than their agreement. There are simply too many predators and ways to attract them online.
Don’t assume your kids understand the need for online safety. Talk to them, age appropriately, about what they need to know, what they need to watch for and what they need to stay away from. Here is a guideline of lessons that will help you as you have these conversations with your children.
Be careful of what you share.
Teach your kids the importance of being careful about what they share online. They should not reveal personal information (address, phone, school or location). They should use a screen name. They should not give passwords to anyone except parents. They should not respond to a threatening email, text, message or post. And they should NEVER EVER agree to meet with someone they met online without your approval and supervision.
Take your child’s online safety seriously, just as you would their physical safety. Take the time to teach your kids and talk to them about their online behavior. Keep the computer in an open area where you can monitor its use. Bookmark your child’s favorite sites for quick access. Keep an eye on credit cards and other bills for unfamiliar activity.
Be sure to ask what online protection is available at school, at after-school activities, friends’ houses or anywhere your child may hang out where there’s a computer.
And if your child ever reports an uncomfortable online exchange, take them seriously. Work at being open with your kids and letting them know that they can share anything with you that makes them feel uncomfortable. Ignoring the challenge of online safety and hoping for the best is just not a smart option for parents.
Stay involved! Fight for your child’s online safety even though they may push back a little. You would do that if they were physically in danger and it’s imperative to do that when it comes to online safety. There’s just too much on the internet that could harm them.