WASHINGTON, September 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — From video lessons to browsing their favorite websites, kids in 2020 have varying levels of experience with technology. Whatever their expertise, be prepared to discuss online safety with them. Consider the following tips from USAGov when teaching children how to stay safe online.
Talk to kids about their online activity: Don’t wait for your children to come to you. Use everyday events like news reports or TV shows to start conversations about online safety. Get to know the websites your children use and who they interact with online. Encourage them to talk to you if they feel threatened or uncomfortable.
Encourage good manners online: We teach kids to use manners in person, so why not encourage them to be respectful when communicating online as well? Discuss family values and how to practice them online. Simple things like saying “please” and “thank you” can be a great reminder, even when sending an email or joining a chat group.
Discuss the consequences of online actions: Whether in person or online, words and actions have consequences. Remind kids that once they post, they can’t take it back. You can’t really delete items from the internet.
Adjust privacy settings: Setting high privacy preferences allows you to decide who can communicate with your child and what they can see on the Internet. Raise expectations about who they connect with and use parental controls to block access to certain websites.
Limit online sharing: Help children understand that they don’t have to share all the information. Important details such as phone numbers, bank accounts, and social security numbers are private. This can help prevent unwanted contact, especially from scammers looking to take advantage of the situation.
Remember that children often need repetition. Be patient and keep discussing online safety. For helpful internet safety resources, see the Federal Trade Commission’s Protecting Kids Online page.
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