Four Tips for Teaching Your Child Internet Safety
2. Avoid playing spy. It’s tempting for parents to want to control their children’s every move and spy on what they do online. Eventually, however, this only promotes a household culture of mistrust. Also, as children grow older, they will become savvy enough to figure out how to hide what they’re doing. A better approach is one where parents communicate with their children about house rules and expectations regarding technology and cyber safety. Even when monitoring their children’s online activity, parents should respect their privacy.
3. Invest in parental control software. It’s a smart idea to install a parental control tool that monitors all of your family’s internet-connected devices. There are lots of options out there (check out Qustodio, Net Nanny, and Norton Family for starters), but make sure whatever you choose lets you control device usage, filter content to block access to inappropriate websites and keep a detailed log of web activity.
4. Create a contract. Setting expectations is an important step toward holding children accountable, and a contract can help do that. Make sure your internet/digital safety contract addresses the following:
• Never giving out personal information (including name, phone number, address and school name) online
• Rules for online use (time limits and times of day)
• Never giving out passwords to anyone, even friends
• Never sending people pictures without checking with parents first
• Being a good online citizen and never doing anything unethical or mean online
• Never making plans to meet someone in person that your child met online
• Talking to mom and dad about any inappropriate or uncomfortable online interactions that your child is a part of or witnesses
Date: Tuesday, February 28