Four Tips for Teaching Your Child Internet Safety

1. Talk about the risks. Naivety online can be downright dangerous. It’s important for parents to make sure their children know that some people on the internet might pretend to be helpful or nice when they are not. They need to understand why they should never share personal information with anyone online. And it’s also essential that children recognize that their online behavior is just as important as their “real world” behavior. Parents and children need to talk about the risks of sharing too much on social media and the fact that embarrassing themselves online could come back to haunt them when it comes time to apply to colleges.
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

Fort Lauderdale, FL Center

5200 N Federal Highway, Suite 3
Next to MD Now urgent care
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308